Gunnar Lundberg’s royal slumber


Gunnar Lundberg

Gunnar Lundberg surrounds himself with the very same blanket that shrouded the one and only Duchess of Cambridge.

I’ve yet to meet a commoner who doesn’t dream of having a brush with royalty at some point in his or her life. For me, that brush was a soft cotton sheet and firm mattress. This real-life fairy tale ended in Banff, just north of Lake Louise in a small cabin called Riverside––but let’s start from the beginning.

My family arrived at the remote Skoki lodge despite numerous threats from my Mom to “give this place the most horrid review” for the poorly maintained cross country ski trail that is the only way to and from the secluded lodge. Upon arrival, we were greeted by the cheerful couple that managed the lodge. They showed us to our cabin, Riverside, and let us get settled before eventually re-grouping for dinner at the main lodge.

My ravenous family feasted on an incredibly delicious meal comprised of king crab, avocado caesar salad, and, last but not least, a divine Amazon chocolate cake. Now joined by the small number of people also staying at the lodge, we all sat down by the fire to swap stories. After getting to know the older couple from Manitoba, the dare devil with scars to prove it, and the middle-aged hockey player that would’ve gone pro had it not been for factors completely outside his control, we heard the most interesting story of the night.

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Not too long ago, in the very lodge we sat in now, a prince and a princess helicoptered into the remote wilderness for a romantic weekend getaway. Kate Middleton and Prince William stayed at this very place: they ate at the same dinner table, they walked on the same tiles and they played backgammon with the manager’s’ kids–– Kate is so down to earth. Interestingly enough, they even had a full bathroom and plumbing flown onto location because they weren’t allowed to use the outhouses. Then came the kicker––they stayed in the Riverside cabin.

My heart stopped. I, Gunnar Lundberg, was about to stay in the same cabin as royalty. I could hardly bear the excitement within me. Sadly, my world came crashing down. The queen-sized bed was for my parents, and I would have to settle for the lower bunk on the adjacent bunk bed.

The next day, while my parents were out on a ski, I seized the opportunity of a lifetime. I crawled under the duvet and took a nap that I would remember forever. In that moment, I realized that commoners and royals really aren’t that far apart. Most every day of our lives are separated from royalty by millions of miles and a wall of armed security, but sometimes, all that separates us from them is a thin cotton sheet.