Working for Fairfax Media in Dubbo, I was hopeful I’d be able to cover something from Prince Harry and Meghan’s tour of the city.
So I was delighted (understatement of the century!) to hear I was going to write a story for the Australian Association Press (AAP) about their arrival at the airport.
And just quietly I was also nervous, excited, scared and honoured.
My story was going to be used across various media outlets in Fairfax Media. How cool is that?!
I’m from the country. I was born and raised in a small, rural town in central west, NSW, so no way did I ever think that some day I’d be mere metres away from royalty!
I knew this was not only going to be the biggest story of my career (hopefully so far!), but I knew it would be one of the best days of my life. And it was.
My colleague and I arrived at the airport at 9:30am to get signed off by officials and receive our media passes
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There it hit me just how big this operation was – there were so many local, national and international media!
Left, right and centre I was spotting journalists I’d only seen on television.
But security-wise, it was also a very big deal.
The media were put into two groups and were ushered into a secured zone to hand over anything we may have in our possession to the NSW Police so that the sniffer dogs could check we didn’t have anything dangerous on us.
After that I said goodbye to my colleague who was leaving on a bus with other journalists to head out to cover the farm story.
The rest of us then walked to the Royal Flying Doctor Service hangar at the Dubbo airport. All of the media had to stand in a cordoned off area.
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Professionally, I’d never felt so alone in such a crazy, buzzing environment. Everyone wanted the perfect position, plus I didn’t know anyone and this was all new to me.
But I found a nice spot in the middle and realised that I’d have a great view of them landing and meeting the students.
While we waited I got chatting to a few very nice journo’s, who put me at ease.
What felt like forever waiting for the royals to arrive, they finally touched down!
I quickly got to work taking photos and filming, all the while trying to update our live blog so our readers could follow what was happening online.
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It was amazing watching Harry and Meghan interact with the local school children.
And that hug from little Luke Vincent! That is one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen. Both Harry and Meghan just looked delighted to meet him!
They’ve always come across as such genuine, nice people, but watching them with all of the students, I saw that they really tried to make time for absolutely every person in that line.
Honestly I really just enjoyed watching them meet everyone and for a couple of minutes I even put down my phone to try and soak it all in.
But as they got closer, that’s when my nerves started and I realised I had to be back on my game.
My hands were absolutely shaking while I was filming and taking photos on my phone of them walking past!
I’ve loved the royals for as long as I can remember and while they never spoke to me and may have only walked near me for 30 seconds, I didn’t care. It was brilliant!
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Because they went into the RFDS hangar and away from my view, I took that opportunity to get my AAP story done ASAP!
So I found a spot on the ground, away from the other media, and starting typing.
They literally had just met the students and walked past me two minutes before, but I think I was on such an adrenaline rush that I was worried I’d forget something important.
But I shouldn’t have. The story was done in good time and I sent it off without any problems.
After my story was done I thought now was my opportunity to be a fan-girl for those last five minutes they were at the airport, so I tried to watch the unveiling of the new RFDS plane and watch their meet and greet with members of the public.
I think I was just calming down when - poof! The royals were gone! They were off to visit the drought affected farm and suddenly everyone was ready to go.
So I walked back to the car to make my way to the office. I probably looked like the cheshire cat from Alice in Wonderland! I couldn’t stop smiling.
Even writing this now, it doesn’t seem real that they were in town and I was lucky enough to cover a story on them being here.
I’m so glad the rest of the day went well and it was lovely hearing my colleagues stories about their own adventures covering the royals.
If you ever read this Harry and Meghan, I just want to say that I hope you enjoyed your time in Dubbo.
This country kid will never forget one of the best days of her life.