(Very) Special assembly

ADITI SADAKALE, a Year 12 student at Parramatta’s Macarthur Girls High School, on her recent brush with royalty

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Picture credit: 7 News

It was Friday, and we were getting ready for a special assembly at school. It’s a state visit, we were told; the Premier would be visiting, along with the Minister of Education.

Oh, the Premier. Is that why we’ve had the police around here so much, with their sniffer dogs, and the helicopters above? The assembly began and the Premier began to make her speech. And somewhere along the line she said, “Please welcome our special guests the Duke and Duchess of Sussex!”

And the royal couple just walked in!

We just erupted in surprise – everyone had their mouths open as Harry and Meghan, er, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, entered, waving. I have to tell you, I got a wave – yes I do believe the two of them were waving to me directly!

The official program then began, with performances and presentations for the special visitors. Harry and Meghan went around the school as we had a special event on, based on the extra-curricular initiatives at our school, especially by the students involved in the ‘In League in Harmony Youth Advocate’ program. We had visiting students from other schools too.

They told Harry and Meghan about their activities in mental health, poverty alleviation etc.

Prince Harry spent a fair bit of time with the NRL students, and learning about their activities for In League In Harmony.

Aditi Sadakale managed to click a picture of the royal couple as they were being escorted in by Principal Ms Gail Cluff

Meghan spoke very well. She said that being at our school reminded her of her own school years – she went to an all-girls school which was very diverse, just like Macarthur Girls.

Both seemed very polite and so nice!

Rest of the day, we were simply too excited to concentrate in class, digesting what had happened at our school that morning. Even the teachers were surprised – they had no idea either!

It was also the second day of the HSC exams for the senior girls that day, and they felt it was a delightful post exam surprise.

It was a great day really, I never dreamed I would get to see royalty up close, and that too at school. Next day, I was busy spotting myself in the pics that came out in the media. But I’m so proud of the photo I managed to get of Harry and Meghan as they walked in, even though I was in shock!

As told to Rajni Anand Luthra