Sunday, September 4, 2011
A Princess Comes to Visit
It isn't everyday that a teacher has a princess come to visit in the classroom, but that is exactly what happened when Princess Mette-Marit of Norway dropped into my class on Thursday. Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway celebrated their 10th wedding anniversary by flying to Zurich in order to attend the four day One Youth World conference, together with the likes of Desmond Tutu, Bob Geldof and keynote speaker Jamie Oliver. The Norwegian Royal couple decided to visit my school, in order to lead a workshop on Global Dignity. I don't know how exactly it came about, but this Irish republican was landed with the job of playing host to the princess.
We discovered that we had something in common, both being fans of the Australian rocker Nick Cave and his band, the Bad Seeds. Her Highness, a veteran of the Oslo rave scene and a well known rock fan, attended high school in Australia for one year. The most famous graduate of the school was Nick Cave. The princess became quite animated when she told me that she had managed to track down some of Cave's old school English essays. These days Cave, former punk and heroine addict, is almost a type of royalty himself. He lives in upper-class Hove, just outside Brighton; his albums are reviewed in the Financial Times, his novels are reviewed in The Times Literary Supplement, his films play at international film festivals. But he still rocks, especially when he appears with his pared down foursome, Grinderman.
I'll admit that having a princess in the classroom, being a bit out of the ordinary, did make the day a tad more interesting. But I wasn't overexcited. Now if Nick Cave should come to visit...