Such an amazing gathering and an otherworldly experience!
Afforest4Future was invited to meet His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales and Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall 🙂 Big THANK YOU to Her Britannic Majesty’s Ambassador Leigh Turner, it was such an honor and privilege to be invited to this special event at your residency!
How to start this blog?!
With the invitation first 🙂 We changed our address as you can now see on our website, but at the time invitations were send out we still had Lerchengasse as our address and of course the invitations together with the RSVP note went to the old address. You can only imagine my surprise when one morning (or to be exact the last day we were meant to send RSVP note) I received a phone call from a private number asking me if Mara and I are coming to meet their Royal Highnesses !?! I was 100% sure it was a joke! I was only wondering who of my witty friends is pulling one over on me, while the lady on the the other end kept on talking about the Royal visit to Austria and how great it would be if we could come, that we should RSVP as soon as possible… And I just couldn’t pin point her voice to any of my friends, so at the end we agreed that the best would be if she send us an email with all the information so that I could RSVP back.
To say that I was shocked when the email came would be an understatement! So I quickly RSVP for Mara and me; and nearly ran to my old flat to see if there were some invitations in the mail. And there they were waiting for us. All real with the golden Royal water mark, printed on thick paper, just so amazing in my hand!
To be very honest until the moment I shook hands with HRH The Duchess of Cornwall I believed it was a prank…
This is why if you are lucky God gives you a sister sometimes, just an angel to look after you and take care of you and your styling when you need it the most :* All my love to my best friend and my sister <3
Arriving an half an hour earlier as advised at HRH Ambassadors house proved to be useful as we got more time to admire the decor and great interior design of the whole building and its large staircase, while chatting with other guests along the way.
When we arrived there, we realized what great organisational skills all those people have, as there were approximately 50-75 people but you never had that feeling of it being over crowded. We were all spread out on one floor each room hosted a few groups, ours being the largest one with 10 of us present, or 9 organisations. Each of the groups was color coded and our color was green! 😀 In our group were the amazing David Zistl from RefugeesWelcome, extraordinaire Gabriela Sonnleitner from Magdas , funny Alexander Obsieger from Der Greissler, charming Katha Schinkinger from Habibi&Hawara, my ex neighbor from Lerchengasse charismatic Kurt Weinberger from Hagel, sweet Helene Pattermann from ZeroWasteAustria, Mass-greisslerei and exuberant Mark Perry! I believe we were the only environmental startup if not the only startup to be invited to the whole event! Such an honor!
Big thanks to our group host Nicola Murray, she made us feel very welcomed and amused! The whole staff was absolutely perfect, specially the cocktail stuff who kept on bringing us water as we were all very exited! There was great vine, red,white and sparkling, the British classic Gin-tonic and lots of finger food. Nothing for vegans though, but I was told that everything tasted great 🙂
So all in all the atmosphere was great, people were chatting first within their own groups and later on mixed, everyone exited to greet TRHs for the first time!
There was one group that kinda popped out in my head and I just couldn’t stop laughing and thinking Brits and their humor, the photo is below. Hope you can clearly see the military officials chatting with the religious leaders! 😂😂😂
As the whole event was hosted in the house of the Her Britannic Majesty’s Ambassador Leigh Turner, one floor was set aside for the main event. Here all groups were spread out in different rooms, ideally forming a horseshoe shape at the time of TRHs arrivals so that they could be all photographed easier I guess. The whole procedure started from the room opposite of us this was where they first arrived greeting the British expats and OSCE people, one of the royals from each side meeting people from different groups of the gigantic house. TRHs arrived one from each side of our room too and meeting at our group, the Princes’s pet as his famous passion for sustainability and NGOs is far known. Both of TRHs greeting Mara nearly in the same time! She was awesome not because she is my sister, she just was! Explaining to HRH Prince Charles the whole agroforestry system, how it would look like and function and then, when he misunderstood her that we were planning on planting olive trees she made sure the whole room knew that we were planting Moringa trees! That’s my sis!
Some of our meet&greet photos, until the official ones are released:
It was such a marvelous afternoon 😀 We were so honored, privileged and blessed to have been a part of this small group, of chosen people, to make the visit of TRHs more spectacular and interesting in Austria.
The show finished with smooth networking and a pint of Imperial Stout, which was absolutely fantastic!
Thank you for reading until the end 😀