Grantham greets the future King

ROYALTY came to the Lockyer Valley at the weekend, with thousands waiting hours in the rain for a glimpse of the highly-anticipated arrival of Prince William.

The Prince met with families of those killed in the floods privately during the visit, before mingling with volunteers and other residents.

Grantham Rural Fire Brigade Volunteer Treasurer, Mar Purton, was lucky enough to meet and have a brief conversation with Prince William.

“It was wonderful to shake his hand and he asked what I do and what I was doing in the flood,” she said.

“He asked what we normally do for a living and then he had to keep moving.

“He reminds me so much of his mum.”

Mrs Purton said the Prince seemed genuinely interested in what had happened in Grantham.

“He kept eye contact while he was talking to us which was great and seemed to be taking an interest.”

“His visit did boost morale for those that got to meet him.

“I know there were a lot of people who were disappointed they didn't get inside the tent to meet him.”

The Grantham resident didn't have much time to be nervous about meeting the future King of England.

“I got a phone call on Saturday and we were told we would one of the ones that would shake hands with the Prince.

“It was a big surprise, but it was a once in a lifetime opportunity and I took it.

“I was shaking a little bit when I met him.”

Grantham State School principal, Christie Minns, said the students were very excited to meet Prince William and had even prepared a song written about his visit.

“It has been a difficult time for a lot of the kids in Grantham and the arrival of Prince William meant a lot to them,” she said.

“We didn't have a lot of time to put together something for the visit, but the kids were practicing everyday.

“Everyone is just so exhilarated right now.

“We are on a high but I'm glad it's over because I have been stressing all week.”

Grantham resident, Jim Wilkin, who along with brother Rob saved at least 16 people from the floods, spoke to the Prince.

“He asked me if I was going to live in Grantham again and how long it would be before I could move back into my house,” he said.

“He was completely different in person than he seems on TV.

“He was very genuine when he was asking questions.

“It was a humbling experience meeting him.”

Mr Wilkin said he hoped the benefits of the royal visit would last a while.

“I hope it boosts morale out here for a while,” he said

“He brought joy to the place for the day and there have been a lot sad faces lately.”

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