It was a quiet day at two o’clock in the afternoon, on August 31st, 2018 in London, England. Even for the Royal Family in Buckingham Palace, where their flag still hangs at half-mast still marking the day, when Diana, Princess of Wales, had died in 1997. Everyone was quiet, even little Princess Charlotte, who is usually chattering non-stop throughout the day. She was as quiet as a mouse. Everyone was sitting in the living room with my big sister Princess Charlotte. She is only thirteen years old and I had only just turned twelve. I was talking really loudly when I looked up and realized that today was the anniversary marking Diana’s death. I shut my mouth and sit down with my mother Duchess Kate and my father Prince William.
When the moment of silence was finished I glance at my sister, “Do you think they’ll get over her death?” I say, rolling my eyes. “We do this every year and it’s starting to get old,” I say.
“Georgey!” Both my sister and my mother look at me.
“What?” I say. “It’s not like Princess Diana was ever important, I mean her death was accident!! And don’t call me Georgey! It’s George,” I say to my sister.
“I can call you whatever I want, so don’t tell me what to do!” My sister exclaims.
“Enough already!” My mother says. “Honestly George, what has gotten into you lately? Every year we do this and you act like it’s something that doesn’t matter.”
“That’s because it doesn’t matter, she died, those things happen! So what!?” I say to mother, now yelling.
“George calm down,” My father says to me.
“Okay, okay, I’m sorry,” I say as I start to cry. “It… just… I… can’t.” I say through my crying.
My mother comforts me. “It’s okay,” she says.
I’m still crying and my sister comforts me as well, then I quit crying. “I’m okay now. Sorry.”
My mother is just about to say something to me when Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth walk in, “I’m sorry to interrupt, your majesty, but you’re needed for an important meeting.”
My mom looks at me and leaves the room. I look at my sister.
“I’m sorry,” I say to her.
“Yeah, okay,” she replies.
My mother returns around eleven at night and goes to bed. Both me and my sister walk to her bedroom to go talk to her.
“I’m sorry about earlier, I didn’t mean what I said.”
My mother replies. “It’s okay, now go to bed.”
“I can’t. Can we go outside and watch the stars?”
“Maybe tomorrow. Now close your eyes and think of something nice.” In a matter of seconds both me and my sister fall asleep next to her.
It’s one thirty in the afternoon when we are at the breakfast table having lunch. I turn and ask my mother. “What did the Queen want to talk to you about during the meeting?”
“Oh,” she says. “We were just talking about the situation with the Monarchy breaking down and what we should do next.”
“Oh. And?” I ask.
She looks at me. “It doesn’t matter, it’s over now,” she says to me and my sister. “Come on, eat up, we can go outside for a walk after breakfast.”
We finish our breakfast, then go outside. When we get outside, it’s cloudy and starts to rain, then the rain turns into hail. It feels like I’m getting hit by golf balls. The wind is howling in my ears.
“Do you think we should go back inside?” My sister asks.
“Nah,” we both say and we keep walking. The hail hits harder, it rains harder and the bellow of the wind is as loud as an airplane engine in my ears. “Do you hear that?” I ask.
“Yes,” my mother says.
“What’s that sound?” My sister asks.
Suddenly, I see a flash of blue in the far end of the city and the ground starts to shake. I look closer and realize that it’s water on the other end of the city, but now it’s getting really close. I look at my family and scream. “It’s a Tsunami. Run!” We all start running but it’s too late, the water reaches us and sucks us under and something hard hits my back and I black out.
When I come to I’m floating in the water all alone. “Mom! Charlotte! Where are you!?” I scream. I get no response and I go under the water again. “Mom! Charlotte!” I call out again. I start to panic. Another wave hits and I get sucked under again. Finally when the water calms down a bit and I’m able to swim without being pulled under. I swim back to the palace—or what’s left of it, most of it is gone. The palace flooded when the water hit. The only thing that has survived is the table we always eat at. The table is floating around the dining room. I swim towards the table and sit on it. I put my head in my hands and cry, I cry until I feel sick. I only stop when I hear shouting and I move closer to the sound. When I get close enough to the source of the sound I finally hear what the shouting is…
“Georgrey! Charlotte!” It’s my mother.
“Mom!” I shout.
“Georgrey!” she shouts again.
“Mom!” I shout back to my mother.
I jump off the floating dinner table and back into the water and swim towards her, the water is extremely deep. When I reach her the water is still very deep so we have to tread water to stay afloat, her face is badly bruised and she is bleeding.
“Are you okay?” She asks me.
“I’m fine.” I say, though there are several bruises on my body and a few cuts. “How about you?” I ask her.
“I’m okay, I’m bruised, but I’m okay,” she says. My mother has a cut on her leg and one above her eyebrow.
“I’m scared,” I say.
She leans over to my ear and whispers. “I’m scared too.” She looks at me and asks. “Have you seen your father and sister?”
I just shake my head.
“What about the Queen and Prince Phillip?”
I shake my head again.
“Well we have to keep going and we will still keep looking for them, okay?” My mother says.
“Okay,” I say and we keep walking through the muddy, murky water.“We need to find shelter.” I say to my mother.
Then we hear something that sounds like the shouting of my sister, and my mother says. “We need to help that kid.”
“No mom, we need to keep going,” I tug on her arm.
“No George, we need to help that kid!” My mother says.
“No, we can’t risk it.” I say and I tug on her arm again.
“Look at me,” She says. “What if that kid was Charlotte, what if she needed help?” I look at her and she adds. “Even if it’s the last thing we do.” I nod.
“Where are you?” I scream. “Charlotte, where are you?!” Then when I’m close enough, I hear her shout.
“George! Mom!” It’s my sister. She runs into my arms.
“I thought I had lost you.” My sister says.
“Me too.” I say crying.
It sometime in the afternoon when we reach a safe place, which so happens to be a makeshift hospital. There are doctors rushing in and out carrying people on doors or tables, whatever the water didn’t destroy. But as soon as we reach the doors and my mother takes two steps inside and falls to the ground.
“Mom?” I say, and she passes out.
“Mom! Please answer me.” I get no response and I start to cry.
“Help!” I call out. “Someone please help us!”
Just then a guy dressed in a doctors uniform rushes over from the counter that he was standing at and takes me, my sister and my mom to a hospital room and lays my mother on the bed there.
“Mom,” I call to her again, I look at my sister and we both start to cry. At that moment my mom wakes up and starts gasping for air, then starts coughing.
“Mom.” I say.
“Georgey.” My mother says between coughs, and I’m too happy that she is alive to object to her calling me ‘Georgey’.
“I thought you were dead, mom.”
“I’m sorry.” she says to me.
“I thought you were dead.” I repeat. I start to cry again.
“It’s okay, it’s okay.” she says to me as we hug each other. I don’t know how long it’s been since we came to the hospital. I lost my watch in the Tsunami so finding out the time will be almost impossible, so I just forget about it and focus on keeping an eye on her. She has stayed on the bed since we had arrived at the hospital and has moved around very little since then. My sister and I have gone for few walks since we arrived, not wanting to leave her too much. This time when we return from one of our walks, we come back with some food and drinks.
“Thank you.” she says to us very weakly. A few moments later she looks at me and says. “George it’s so busy in here, you’ve got to go do something.”
“Like what?” I ask.
“Anything.” she says.
“Will you be alright?”
She looks at me again and says. “I will be alright, plus I have your sister here, she can keep me company.”
“Okay.” I say and I leave. After I have brought a few families back together, I decide to go back to the room my mother is in. But when I get there, my sister is standing just outside the door and is crying hard.
“What?” I ask her,
“It’s mom.” She says before crying again,
“What about mom?” I ask suddenly worried that she might be dead.
“Charlotte, what happened?” I ask again.
“While you were out, she started to cough non-stop, then she just passed out and she hasn’t responded since.”
“Why didn’t you alert anyone that this has happened?” I ask.
“I was scared, I’m sorry George.” she says.
I walk into the room and she is still laying on the bed. I walk over to her and grab her wrist to see if I can feel a pulse. I can, but it’s very weak. Just then I realize that she’s in a coma. I drop her hand back on the bed and sprint out of the room to find a doctor. When I find one, I tell her what I noticed about my mom. She tells me that they are going to take her to surgery right away. I nod and go back to the room we are staying in and tell my sister the news. My mom wakes up again and I tell her the news. All she manages to do is nod before she has to close her eyes again. At that moment I decide to go for another walk. While I’m out, I see someone with dark-brown hair and realize that it’s my father and I run to try to catch up with him, but by the time I get to the place where I saw him, he’s gone.
Frustrated I scream, “Dad!”
That’s when I hear his voice. “Georgey!!”
“Dad!” I yell.
“George.” He calls out again. I run into him and give him a great big hug. Then my sister comes running up to us, she must have followed me here.
“Dad!” She yells.
“Charlotte!” he yells back. We all hug for a moment before I say, “Mom’s here.”
“What?” my father asks.
As we walk back the room, I tell him what happened from the time the water hit, to leading up to her being in the hospital. To which she was injured during the tsunami and her injuries have gotten worse. When we get there I walk to my mom and wake her up.
“Hey mom, look who’s here.” I say.
She looks at my father.
“I thought you were dead.” she says.
“No, I’m here, and I would’ve never found you if Georgey here had not found me.” he says and I chuckle a little.
“Am I dead?” She asks him.
“No.” He says to her “You’re alive and you’re fine.”
She mumbles something.
“What? What my darling? What is it?” He asks.
My mother looks at him and says, “I’m dying.”
“What? No, no you aren’t, you’ll be just fine,” he responds.
She looks at him again and says “Take care of our babies.”
“Hey, that’s not what I came here for,” he says. He hugs her for a long time until the nurse comes in and tells us that they are ready to her to surgery and we nod, but just before they take her away she says to my father “I’m scared.”
“I know, but you’ll be just fine. I love you, you know that don’t you? You’ll be alright,” he tells her.
After the nurses take her away, my father turns and says to me. “Thank you for looking after mom.”
“We took care of each other,” I say. While she is in surgery I ask dad about the Queen and Prince Phillip.
He looks at me, shakes his head and says. “They’re dead.”
I nod because I don’t know what else to do. Later I fall asleep and dream about the Tsunami and when I wake up my dad is standing in the doorway and says to me and my sister Charlotte.
“Mom’s okay, she’s alright.”
Charlotte and I go see mom and she tells us she feels a little better than before. I tell her what dad had told me and she just nods as well, feeling the same way I felt when I heard the news about what happened to the Queen and Prince Phillip. We just sit together for a long time.
Two and and a half years later...
After the Tsunami hit and after the Monarchy broke down. London rebuilt itself, my mother Duchess Kate became the Queen of London and my father Prince William became the King of London, they helped rebuild the Monarchy and helped rebuild London.
I have learned a lot from what we have been through and now understand that you should never take life for granted because at any moment, anything could happen and you need to be ready. You can never predict what will happen.