A Royal Recollection

Date Published: Sunday, 10 April 2011

Barnaby Taylor, 12, recounts his time with the King James Bible Trust at Clarence House

Barnaby, from Knights Templar school, Baldock, along with 4 colleagues, delighted the KJBT reception at Clarence House recently with readings from the King James Version of Matthew's gospel. Here, he has written an account of meeting the Prince:

"On the 17th of March, as one of the occasions to mark the 400th anniversary of the publication of the King James Bible, Noah Taylor, Janos Bergob, Hannah Reynolds, Michael Blanchfield (John Henry Newman) and I met Prince Charles to read to him parts of the Bible at a charity fundraising event given by the King James Bible Trust, of which he is Patron. For two weeks beforehand, we rehearsed with one of the Trustees, Joanna Cherry (who lives in Weston and is an actress), until we knew our words off by heart.

So, after a train ride down to Finsbury Park, we got on a few tube trains in our suits (getting funny looks from withered, tired and hungry commuters.) On arrival at Clarence house, we were shown where we would stand and where Prince Charles would be watching from. The house itself was amazing! As Janos pointed out as we stood in the royal lavatories. Tapestries hung from every wall, vases and statues towered over us but the strangest things were the photos. They were normal family pictures....holidays, weddings, children running around the garden, but the people in them were past and future monarchs. And the children in the garden were princes!

We were standing in the reception room where the guests would come into on arrival when we noticed their name badges. There were lots of MPs and bankers that we’d never heard of but there were also some people better known to us, for example Prunella Scales, Timothy West and Frank Skinner. People started arriving and we stood around talking to them for a bit, then through the crowd, we got a glimpse of The Prince. Slowly he made his way through everybody until he got to us. We all started to feel really nervous but as soon as he shook our hands and smiled we all felt at ease. We talked for about five minutes about where we come from and so on and then he moved on. We all just stood in silence for a few seconds staring as he walked away and that was it.

After a tour of the house by a man called Leslie, it was time for us to read. Prince Charles made a speech while everyone stood around muttering “Hear hear” and “Good show old fruit”. As I read my first lines I realised Frank Skinner was standing right next to me and I got a bit nervous. The text we read was slightly scandalous in as much as we were shouting to bankers, MPs and other such people about “hypocrites” being “filled with extortion and excess!” But we finished with the two commandments about loving God and loving your neighbour so (luckily) everyone applauded and muttered once again.

Then Prince Charles went up stairs and, I’m sure this will surprise you, I haven’t spoken to him since. We went home; slightly sad that it was over but feeling our country was in good hands with the really friendly prince we had just met.

Finally, I would like to demonstrate to you the personality of His Royal Highness: we had been talking about GCSEs and so on when he chuckled,
"I got Pneumonia at the end of my O Levels."
"Really? Why?" Noah asked
"Probably because I worked so bloody hard!"
And he was gone."

By Barney Taylor

Barney Taylor

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