by our Royal correspondent Eva Küster
Pupils, parents and teachers at the Gymnasium am Moltkeplatz could not believe their eyes: Was it really Her Majesty The Queen who was strolling through the crowded corridors of their school? Could the fame of Krefeld's oldest school, affectionately known as 'Our Moltke' in local circles, have spread to faraway London? Could it be true? But when the gentleman following in her steps and bearing a close resemblance to Prince Charles was heard muttering to himself, “Impressive old building! Wonderful school! Splendid, quite splendid! One almost wishes one were a schoolboy again!” there was no room left for doubt: their Royal Highnesses were gracing the venerable halls of Moltke School with their presence, mingling with hundreds of other visitors on the school's traditional 'Open Day'.
Her Majesty exchanged a few friendly words with Mr. Neumann and was prevailed upon by Mrs Aalam-Behr, head and deputy head of Moltke School, to pose for pictures in the English room, which by happy coincidence was festively decorated with Union Jacks.
When, only a few minutes later, Prince William and his wife, the Duchess of Cambridge arrived, the latter cradling the royal baby (they had been delayed by a little accident involving Wee George) the delight of the crowd knew no bounds. Never before had the English department been host to such illustrous visitors! The royals professed a keen interest in the Smartboard and commented favourably on the way even the youngest Moltke students replied to their questions in perfect English, albeit with a slight American accent in most cases.
After stopping at the first-floor coffee bar for biscuits and a cup of tea, the Royal family departed, waving to the crowds. Before leaving, the Queen had confided to Mrs. Küster, who, uncharacteris-tically, was quite speechless with awe, “When I see President Obama at Windsor Castle for Christmas, I shall suggest to him that he should come and visit your school next year. It will do wonders for US-German relations. But now I must hurry – other duties await me, although by far not such pleasant ones as this visit!”
photos courtesy of Nancy Berg
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