My profession brings a constant parade of diverse clients. From one week to the next, I’m constantly surprised and delighted by the stream of people arriving at my virtual doorstep. Variety is, indeed, the spice of my life. It keeps me primed for a fast-paced — make that high-octane — life.
A case in point is the call I received only weeks ago from journalist, TV broadcaster and host of Listen UP TV, Lorna Dueck. She had big news about the upcoming royal tour of Canada — and big questions about the protocols of meeting Queen Elizabeth. Lorna was calling on behalf of Reverend Dr. Franklin Pyles, her Chairman of the Board. He was honoured with an invitation to say Grace at the State Dinner for the Queen, to be hosted by Prime Minister Harper on July 5 at the Fairmont Royal York in Toronto. A big night and a big occasion requiring more than a little attention to detail.
As President of the Christian and Missionary Alliance Church in Canada, Rev Dr. Pyles leads 400 churches, including Prime Minister Harper’s place of worship, and is obviously, a seasoned communicator. Both he and his wife Gay felt truly blessed by this great honour — but dinner with the Queen is far from an everyday experience and requires some coaching, along with glamorous, special-occasion clothing.
We made quick progress with the royal protocols, next step, a real evening gown for Gay. Together, Gay and I visited award winning Canadian designer Ross Mayer. For over 20 years, Ross has dressed a fiercely loyal clientele. From chic daywear to sleek eveningwear, his reputation for hitting just the right note for every occasion is justly deserved. It’s no surprise that Ross scored an A+ with Gay’s elegant gown in deep purple and silver brocade —truly fit for the Queen.
Next step? Sparkling crystal jewels to dramatize the effect. At the Swarovski flagship store on Bloor Street, we met with Maria and Store Manager Ryan for a tour of what must be the world’s biggest jewel case! So many choices and only one occasion — we finally decided on a necklace, earrings and bracelet. The final finishing touch was a perfect “bijoux” evening bag. Little wonder Gay said she felt like Cinderella!
And Rev Dr. Pyles, perfectly turned out in his tux, had a brocade vest to match Gay’s gown. But the crowning touch, if you’ll pardon the pun, was the Monarch’s Protocol Officer complimenting Rev Dr. Pyles’ for both his saying of Grace and its appropriateness.
It was a magical evening. Congratulations Rev Dr. and Mrs. Pyles. Thank you for including us in this very special event.