The King and I

Our paths crossed at Cambridge. I was at Jesus College from 1965 to 1968, he was at Trinity from 1967 to 1970. I saw him only once, when I was walking to my college along Jesus Lane and he was walking the other way with his bodyguards behind him. If he had been walking alone, I might not have recognised him. I don’t think he recognised me.

He was a prince then and I was, by comparison, a pauper. My father’s income as a printer was just enough to require him to make a small contribution to my maintenance grant, most of which came from the council. I think his father would have had to pay the lot. Higher education in those days being free, tuition fees for both of us were paid by his mother’s government.

We haven’t met each other since and I would be surprised if he has read any of my books. I think he would enjoy Dorothy if he ever got round to reading it. Perhaps it would inspire him to write a book about his mother too. Both of our mothers had long lives. His mother died when she was 96, mine when she was 98. I wish I had thought of adding my mother’s initial to the title of my book. Dorothy R and Elizabeth R would have looked nice together, side by side on the shelf.


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