No butterflies for Alberta senior's second-chance royal moment with Will, Kate

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CALGARY - Frances Miller doesn't think she'll cry when she meets Prince William and his wife Kate on Friday — at least not right away.

"I might afterwards," chuckled the senior on the phone from Medicine Hat, Alta., where she lives with her husband in a condo. "It is going to be such a momentous occasion."

The 81-year-old missed out on meeting King George and Queen Elizabeth, the current monarch's mother, on their tour through southern Alberta in 1939. But she's getting a second chance at a royal moment by being one of the last members of the public to meet Will and Kate before they board a plane in Calgary at the end of their tour.

"I never, ever in my wildest dreams ever thought anything like this would happen," said Miller, who added she is more excited than nervous.

"I haven't any stomach butterflies or anything yet. I'm hoping I can keep those away."

Miller was nine and living in Walsh, Alta., with her family when she was chosen to present a bouquet of flowers to the queen during a brief stop on a train tour through Canada. But for some reason not ever fully explained the train rumbled on through instead.

Wearing her best dress and with her hair in ringlets, Miller was left standing heart-broken on the station platform, clutching a dozen long-stemmed roses half as big as she was.

The Medicine Hat News campaigned to have Miller, now a retired farm wife, added to the royal itinerary this time.

She said she was shocked to learn she made the list and has been overwhelmed by media attention from England and the United States. She admits she has become a bit of a local celebrity, but would rather not make a fuss about the whole thing.

"I was happy when I heard it was going to be at the airport, 'cause I didn't like the idea of thousands and thousands of people."

Government officials co-ordinating the tour have arranged for Miller to present Kate with a similar bouquet to the one she would have presented to William's great-grandmother more than seven decades ago.

Although a photo of Miller at the time was shot in black and white, she remembers the roses were red. The ones on Friday will be, too.

Miller went shopping for a new outfit for the special occasion but has instead selected a barely worn turquoise skirt and jacket from her closet.

She doesn't know what she's going to say to the couple other than, "It's wonderful to meet you both."

Miller has been told they know about her missed opportunity 72 years ago and she says she wouldn't be surprised if Kate reaches out for a hug.

"She is so personable. I think she'll make a beautiful queen someday ... I probably won't be around to see it."

That's why Miller has chosen her granddaughter, 27-year-old hair stylist Kara Meier, to stand behind her during the send-off at the Calgary airport.

"She's young and it'll be with her for life."

— By Chris Purdy in Edmonton

Geographic location: Alberta

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