Talk about Scottish independence.
The girl was Shona Ritchie, 4, and as her mother, Karen Ritchie, 30, recounted the very special day to PEOPLE, it began with an early start for the tot.
“Shona woke up early at 6 a.m., because she saw in the newspaper that Kate and William were going to be in Glasgow,” said Karen, a customer-service worker for the utility company Scottish Power. “I had promised her to take her to see a real princess ever since she watched the Royal Wedding.”
When she awakened, says her mother, Shona was already shouting, “The Princess is coming. The Princess is coming,” recalls Karen. “I told her the real princess is still in bed. She’s still asleep.”
Shona – Karen says she’s “a very outgoing, enthusiastic girl” – chose to dress up as Princess Merida from the animated feature Brave, “because she’s a princess and [like Shona] she’s Scottish,” says her mom, who, along with Shona and about 800 other well-wishers, by 9 a.m. were standing outside in anticipation of seeing the royal couple.
Shona had a flower to give Kate, “a bright, pink carnation. She kept telling everyone she was going to steal a kiss form the handsome prince and give the flower to the princess,” says Karen.
“When William came by, she reached the flower out to him. I think she wanted him to smell it.” Karen then indicated that this may have been the moment when things got confusing: “I think he thought she was offering it to him. She thought it smelled nice and she was giving it to everyone to smell.”
‘Is That for Me?’
As Karen further recalls, “He said to her, ‘Is that for me?’ Shona shook her head and pointed to Kate. He said, ‘Quite right, you give it to her.’ [Then] she asked him for a kiss. She said, ‘Can I have a kiss?’ ”
According to Karen, “William said, ‘You want a kiss?’ [Shona] nodded her head. When William reached forward to give her a kiss, she suddenly got overwhelmed and shy and dived into my shoulder. She doesn’t normally get that shy.”
Evidently, even the prince was overwhelmed. “William blushed a little bit,” says Karen. “He took it really, really well. He laughed. He patted her on the shoulder. He said, ‘Maybe next time, Shona.’ She was all [excited] because he remembered her name.” (Karen thinks the Prince might have overheard her saying it.)
Karen says Shona promised that she’ll give him a kiss the next time. “Both of them were so lovely to her. They’ll be really good parents,” Karen adds.
Funnily enough, says Karen, “When Kate came around, Shona stopped being shy for five minutes. Kate said, ‘Hello, you look very pretty in your costume. Did you pick [the flower] out of your garden?’ [And] Shona said, ‘I stole it out of my mum’s vase.’ ”
The royal reaction? “Kate burst out laughing.”