Lessons from the royal trail

From Katie Daubs, who is on the royal tour trail for the Star:

It's been a busy weekend, and I'm not really sure what day it is anymore. Every day feels like
Saturday at Ikea. Here's a few lessons from the past few days, from Canada Day to Montreal protests:.


1. It's great to have a colleague who speaks French better than you do. You might hear “abort la monarchie” and you might think it makes “enough” sense with the anti-monarchist position (If not a little crude). But it's nice to know Star reporter Joanna Smith is standing near the mob of people, suggesting that it's actually "abolir la monarchie" when you send her your notes. Thank you Joanna Smith. That makes more sense.

2. TV people get really passive aggressive and possessive about the risers. At various ceremonies, risers are provided for photographers and camera people to get a better shot. At the citizenship ceremony, I was sitting on one taking notes. When I got up to do an interview, I came back to find my backpack on the ground and a note in its place. “DO NOT SIT ON THE RISER. THANK YOU.” I had only been gone for five minutes, but someone had enough time to write out an all caps note, tape it to the riser, and disappear to avoid my return. I suppose I can't really blame this on TV people, since I don't know who the culprit is. I'm sorry TV people. Especially for sitting on your riser.

3. Having a variety of entertainment is a good thing. I used to live in Ottawa, and truth be told, I never watched both the noon and evening show, so I'm not sure if they're always so similar. Did organizers think no one would notice when the same songs were reprised at night? Granted, many in the crowd were in the bag at that point. But the Duke and Duchess weren't. Unless you get a high from overdosing on Great Big Sea.

4. Grab food when you can. The schedule is so tight that there is no time to stop and eat. If you don't pack an apple or something, that granola bar you packed in your backpack six months ago will become a stale temptress as you wait in a deserted airport for a flight. French fries at the train station aren't that bad. Dipping them in ketchup you had to squirt on a napkin is.

5. Get a good strategy for storing your luggage while on assignment. When going from Ottawa - Montreal - Quebec City in one day, there's no hotel at which to check your bags. Sure, Governor-General David Johnston won't mind if you store your pyjamas under a tree at Rideau Hall for an hour, but Montreal isn't the wooded fortress of Rideau Hall. Instead, you have to make friends with the Via Rail baggage check guys and have them store your bag in their break room, while you run off to a tourism institute to see about a duke, a duchess and a protest.

-Katie Daubs

Cottage break

On Canada Day, when the royal couple disappeared for a few hours, they were at Harrington Lake in Gatineau National Park, on the invitation of the Harpers.
Will and Kate explored the lake on foot and in a row boat.  A short message from Heritage Canada said the couple were grateful to the PM and Laureen for the chance to see the park. The note did not mention whether Kate had an outfit change for the rowboat.


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