Prince Charles at the Back Forty

Valentine’s day, 1995, while I was playing in a tennis tournament, I missed a most famous guest!  I had left my husband home with our new puppy to tend to the guests that had booked our Guest House.  Little did I know I would miss meeting the Prince of England!

We had just purchased our forty acres here at the very edge of Fredericksburg, Texas a couple of years earlier, and had restored the Guest House and had begun offering it as a bed and breakfast.  Initially, we turned over the booking to Helen, a charming older lady who seemed to know the ins and outs of the business.  Twenty years ago, before the internet, it was much more personal, and a lot of business was done by phoning others to see if they had any overflow or openings. 

She was very good at it and kept the cottage busy.  This time the couple came under assumed names, and since we had a gate, am sure they felt secure.

So, there was my husband sleeping in his recliner with the puppy on his lap, when Prince Charles and Camilla knocked on the front door.  Bill is hard of hearing, so when he did not answer, they peered thru the window and saw him—knocking even louder.  He hollered, ‘come on in’.  Imagine that.  Bill also has a difficult time walking due to a childhood accident, so at times it is easier for him to yell.

In any event, in they came with Prince Charles staying by the door and Camilla holding the puppy so Bill could go get the key for them.  The man by the door called out, ‘you have a lovely home here’, in a wonderful accent, and then they were off to their cottage.

By the time the tournament was over, they had departed.  It was two weeks later that my sister in law and I, were reading the guest book.  I came out of the cottage shrieking!  ‘you won’t believe who stayed here!’

Their lovely hand written note began ‘thank you for preserving our secret for two wonderful days and one glorious night’.  So I really did not talk about it, until recently! Later I read he had been in the area for polo.

Patricia Collins
The Back Forty of Fredericksburg