BOXFORD, Ma.-- ”This is William and I trying to knock each other off of the canoe. It came about because our friends have a son whose name is Aubrey and he was going to school with William. I think it was up until 8th grade they were in the same school,” says Ginger Gatewood who spent a summer weekend with Prince William in 1992.
Thirty years ago, Gatewood’s annual canoeing trip along the Saco River in New Hampshire with friends and family included some surprise guests.
“This is Trevor, the bodyguard and that is William hanging on the back of the canoe in the water,” says Gatewood.
It was top secret Prince William would be joining his friend Aubrey on his family’s summer excursion. She found out after she shook his hand who he was.
“The matriarch of the family came over to me afterward and said that was William of Windsor and I was like ‘oh okay’,” says Gatewood.
But she says Prince William didn’t act like royalty. Instead, she says he was well-behaved and helped prep meals right along with everyone else. She credits his mother Princess Diana for his humility.
“It was just amazing. He had absolutely no airs about him; no entitlement,” says Gatewood.
She says it was rare for the young Prince William to go anywhere without his family, but believed his mother wanted him to get outside of the regal bubble.
“I think Diana wanted to have the boys be with people who were not royal clearly and so we were very common,” says Gatewood.
Thirty years later, she still remembers how refreshing it was to see Prince William just get to be a kid and enjoy the nature of New England. While he’s in Boston, she says she would love to hear from him about what he thought about the trip.
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