CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD ROYAL KIND
by JOANNA JORDAN
I had the honour and privilege to perform music on Electric Harp for Their Royal Highnesses, Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex and Princess Sophie. the Countess of Wessex at a private dinner party for 30 noble people in Toronto. All of these people were connected with one another because of their care and concern for a charitable organization that has been established for over 50 years.
It was so exciting to choose the right kind of music that would create a nice atmosphere so that people could speak with one another and yet not blend so much into the wall that the music would not be creating a nice vibe. I was so thrilled when the guests walked into the room and Prince Edward smiled at me as he entered the room and then he was seated with his back to me. (Ahhh….) I could not see Princess Sophie, so maybe she smiled at me too, but I did not know where the Countess of Wessex was.
I was not sure if that would be the only contact I would have with the Royal couple. Throughout dinner, I chose to play quite a few British artist’s tunes, like the Beatles, Coldplay, Adele, Sting, Led Zeppelin, Eric Clapton, Van Morrison, One Direction, Oasis, The Police, U2, Cat Stevens, The Who and Elton John.
A couple of times throughout the dinner, Prince Edward turned around (180 degrees) and smiled again with a sort of thumbs up type of look, a bit of a nod. Again, I was so excited and thought this might be the only contact I would have.
We took some photos of the room before the guests arrived. The room looked exquisite.
It might be hard to believe, but the last time I played in this home, the room where this dinner took place was the Pool House. It was converted into this stunning dining room. The floor that you see in the photos is over what used to be a pool. There were some people there from Buckingham Palace, Scotland Yard and the RCMP. I heard from the someone that a comment was made that the elegance and beauty of the room was nicer than dinners that take place at Buckingham Palace.
At the end of the dinner, the guests were being escorted out towards a doorway that was in the opposite direction from where I was. I was playing the Beatles, “Here Comes The Sun” as they exited and as I saw Prince Edward being escorted out and away from me, I had another Ahhh… moment because I thought that would be it. However, the Prince turned around and headed back towards where i was to thank me for my music.
My husband, Alan Gollom was sitting next to me while I was playing and I thought he was having a heart attack, but it was because Prince Edward was heading in our direction. I had the chance to speak with him for about 5-10 minutes. My husband was so thrilled to be introduced to him. The Prince told me that he really enjoyed the Coldplay and Rock tunes I did and he saw my Ipad and I showed him the App that I use, UnrealBook created by Aron Nelson and how I have 7,000 pieces of sheet music on my Ipad. I have actually contributed ideas toward developing this app, (I’m in the credits!!!) but that is another story.
I mentioned to Prince Edward that I have my own Rock Band since he seemed interested in the Rock music I was playing. We were joined by someone that was with him from Buckingham Palace. His Royal Highness asked me the name of my Rock Band and I said, “Oh I don’t think I should say”. The Prince said, “Do tell.” So I said “Pluckin Rite”. Everyone had a good laugh.
Out of respect for Prince Edward and his family which all might be a little sensitive about photo taking, we did not ask to take a photo with the Prince, but I did find the photo you see of him above on the web.
Prince Edward was very good looking, so charming and ingratiating- a real gentleman. It was so nice to meet him. The third chair on the right (the ones with the backs towards me) in this picture is where the Prince sat. The chair right next to me is where my husband sat. This is the third member of the Royal Family I have played for, hence the title of this blog. To see the other members of the Royal I have played for, please click here