When Gladys talks about William her voice carries the fond intonations of a mother’s love.
“I think he has picked a good one,” she said, smiling down at the portrait on the desk. “I think they are going to be happy, very happy.”
The happy couple in question aren’t posing in a photograph album however, they are on a commemorative plate, and Joyce isn’t really the young man’s mother.
She has lots of pictures of his mother, too though, along with mugs, teaspoons and porcelain figurines, all bearing her likeness.
“Diana caused more fuss than anyone else in the family,” she said. “She meant well, but she was too young to take on that life.”
Gladys, who prefers to go by her maiden name of Yeomans for the purpose of this story, isn’t shy about her love of the English royal family.
As the former head of the now-defunct Monarchist League in Qualicum Beach, she has more memorabilia about the Windsors than anyone you’re likely to meet.
“I love them all, but my favourite royal would have to be the couple right now,” she said, putting the plate back lovingly into its place in the display.
“I think they are going to do well. I think she is the right girl. She seems very sensible and it’s nice he has someone like that, after losing his mother the way he did.”
Not surprisingly, Yeomans plans to be glued to the TV on April 29, when Prince William Windsor and Kate Middleton say ‘I do’.
Her house is already decorated for the big day, with a special display of everything William and Kate upstairs by the dining room.
“Because I was with the Monarchist League, I have lots of things I can decorate with, flags and so forth,” she said, pointing to porcelain figurines of Queen Elizabeth II and Charles, Prince of Wales.
“I have pictures and postcards of the happy couple, I have a tea towel especially for them, I have some very nice spoons and some very fine china and of course I need to have the Queen in it and Charles, because of the family.”
In the 50 years she has been collecting royal family memorabilia, Gladys has followed every marriage, coronation, scandal, triumph and tragedy with passion and devotion.
In her downstairs ‘Royal Room,’ she can point to any number of displays featuring different aspects of the family’s history.
“There’s a nice little bit about the boys when they were born,” she said, pointing to one display.
“This is for the new wedding that Charles had with his new wife. That’s for the Queen Mother and some of the family together and then there are many others, all mixed in.
“Some of it I get sent over from a cousin who lives near Windsor Castle, so I get it right from the source.”
owded riot of royalist memorabilia is a large portrait of Queen Victoria, rescued from the old Sunset Inn, a posterboard with pictures of Queen Elizabeth’s visit to Qualicum Beach in 1951 and a blue dress hanging on a mannequin.
“That’s the dress I wore at a banquet in Vancouver when I dined with the queen,” she said.
“We were right at the table, right in front of her. I didn’t get to shake her hand, because she was on her way to another event, but I saw her very close.”
Of all the events she has bought commemorative spoons, mugs, teapots and posters for though, Gladys thinks this one will be the best ever.
“It has certainly stirred the world up,” she said, eyes bright.
“It’s nice. It has been a sort of a turn for the better. It was kind of going downhill, but now I think they have straightened things out and I think they are going to be very, very happy.”