As about 300 people crowded the curb opposite Gund Hall for a sight of Charles, Prince of Wales, yesterday, a select group of 49 students spent about half an hour chatting with the British heir apparent inside the tightly guarded courtyard.
The undergraduate and graduate students were hand-picked by the deans of their schools for sharing one of six interests with the prince--either music, student government, interest in a third-world country, architecture, athletics or a connection to England.
The students met at the Cabot Science Center and were taken across the street to the Gund Hall courtyard. Before the Prince arrived, a representative from the British consulate briefed the students on royal protocol.
Undergraduate Council Chairman Brian C. Offutt '87 introduced the Prince to the students as they stood grouped according to their interests. The Prince attempted to say a few words to each student.
The Prince had requested that the British Consulate arrange this visit for him, said Dean of the College L. Fred Jewett '57. "I was very pleased he wanted to do that, get a sense of Harvard at the other end of the spectrum," the dean said.
Offutt said Charles "seemed to have a great interest in most of the students he met." And most of the students had a great interest in meeting the Prince.
"He was very comfortable to be with," said David Conant '89, who shares the Prince's interest in music.
"Yes, I met him, and I'm still standing," said Jeffrey Rosen '86, a Marshall scholar.
The experience was not so novel for Jonathan Bender '89, who said that Charles was a family friend. The two spoke briefly about common friends.
"When you talk to him, he puts you at ease immediately," Bender said. "You get the impression he's interested in you and only you."