An Interview with Royalty

Interview with Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence KCVO CB ADC(P)

An amazing opportunity arose for Castle Court  4R Children to attend an interview with Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence at the RNLI Headquarters in Poole, where he is the Chairman of the RNLI Operations Committee.  They had spent the spring term developing their journalistic skills as part of their literacy topics, so a chance to practice them on a member of the Royal Family could not be missed!

Charlotte gave the opening speech and asked the first question – “Thank you so much for allowing us to interview you as part of our English Work”.

“May I begin by asking what your links are to the RNLI and how important an organisation it is to you?”

When I was very small, about three years old, I had holidayed at Dungeness in Kent.  I was taken to the local Lifeboat station where I remember a big shinny boat and thinking I really wanted to go on it.  As you now know, in recent years I have been fortunate to get involved.

Leila:  Please can you tell me what you wanted to be when you were our age?

I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do at your age.  I did know that I DID NOT want to work in London, and due to the interest in the sea  I signed up with the Navy and have just left after 37 years.

Jimmy: Were you ever naughty and if so what punishments did you get? Were you ever grounded?

I actually can’t remember as I only remember the good things about my time at school.   I may have been kept in after school.  My sports did keep me out of mischief as I enjoyed football, cricket  and tennis.

Tenzing: What are your best memories of school and did you have any scary Teachers?

My best memories from my prep school in Kent are the fact that I had plenty of time for sport and enjoying the Countryside.

As for the scary teachers:  the scariest teacher left when I arrived and although there were one or two others, I don’t think they were too bad!

Charlie : What was your favourite sport at school and what is your favourite sport now?

I enjoy all sports.  My favourite is cricket.  I played with some people who went on to play for  their county and England.

I’m too old for some sports now, but I do enjoy sailing and golf.

Joanna: Do you find it strange being a part of the most famous family in the World?

No not strange, I’ve got used to it.  I do live two separate lives.  One is supporting my wife and the other is supporting my own commitments, such as the RNLI.


Charlotte: Did you think you would grow up to marry a Princess and sit down over a roast dinner with Her Majesty the Queen?  Does it ever feel a bit unreal?

No.  If someone had told me some years ago I was going to marry a Princess I would have thought they were rather barmy.  It actually feels very real and comfortable.  I know the Queen as a person, she is warm and friendly,  and to me she is my ‘mother- in-law’

Charlotte Gilmour:  Do you feel part of the Family?

Definitely. I am an extended part of the Family.

Cosmo: When was the last time you rode a bike? What do you think are the simplest pleasures in life?

I rode a bike at school and university, and cycled a lot when I lived in Winchester but I would NOT ride a bike in London – it is too dangerous for me!

I haven’t ridden a bike for a while, however last summer, when we were staying at Balmoral Castle in Scotland, three of our party decided to ride their bikes to a place where we were having a picnic.  They were exhausted  when they arrived, so I offered to ride one of the bikes back.  It was seven miles, and I was definitely out of practice.

As to the simplest pleasures in life: enjoying  the company of friends, the Countryside and getting on with life; doing something interesting.

Taylor: Do you disco dance and what is your favourite music and best dance moves?

It has been a while since I disco danced,  but I do enjoy different types of music. I was recently in the USA and for three evenings I listened to Blue Grass Music. I do enjoy modern popular music as well.

My favourite dance?  Well, I do enjoy watching ballroom dancing and I regret I didn’t live in an era when it was very popular.

Charlie: Do you have any pets and what are they?

I have a lot of dogs: two English Bull Terriers,  four Labradors and two Spaniels

We live on a working farm so we also have sheep, cattle, and pigs.

Charlie: Did you have any unusual pets when you were small?

I had a dog and a Hamster.  I do remember Gerald Durral’s book about animals and he said he kept a scorpion in a match box, but I had nothing as unusual as that.

Geen : What makes you really chuckle?

A good joke, and if you see something that goes a bit wrong, a bit like the situations which occur on the Television programme  ‘You’ve Been Framed’.


Izzy: What is your favourite food and does Princess Anne cook or a Servant?

I like most foods; any good food and I particularly enjoy food from the farm, particularly our meat and vegetables.  However my favourite food is fish.

We do have a cook,  but my wife does cook when the cook is not there.  She also cooks if we are out on the boat together.  II don’t really do any; although I did learn the basic skills of cooking whilst I was at school, so I can cook if I needed to.

Izzy: Do you catch your own fish?

No I don’t.

Mrs Robinson – May I ask if you have been able to train your Bull Terrier, as I could never train mine?

I think you can, we did ours, they are soft and gentle and lovely pets to us.

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