Queen’s students share their wild celebrity encounters

Less than ideal stories of run-ins with Hollywood’s elite—and the Queen

Some of the celebrities Queen's students have awkwardly encountered.
Some of the celebrities Queen's students have awkwardly encountered.

For most people, getting the chance to meet a famous person sounds like a dream—but, under the wrong circumstances, that dream can easily turn into an awkward nightmare.

The Journal asked Queen’s students to share their perfectly imperfect celebrity encounters, with star power ranging from Disney royalty to actual monarchs.


“This past August, my family took a quick trip to New York City before school began.

One day, we went for a nice walk through a park in the city. We walked alongside a bike path and, as we approached a turn, we saw a father biking with his daughter slightly in front of him.

As the father went to turn, he accidentally biked straight into his daughter. Upon impact, they both fell to the ground right in front of my family, causing me to gasp.

A few old ladies helped them up and my family and I continued on our walk. As we left the scene of the crash, I couldn’t help but think the father looked familiar. I turned back to get a second look, stopped my sister and said, 'That’s David Schwimmer, a.k.a. Ross from Friends.'

Just then, Schwimmer biked past us and asked his daughter if she was okay with a very recognizable tone of voice.

As I walked away in shock, I wished I just told Schwimmer to pivot as he made that turn.”

—    Jonathan Karr


“In 2011, my sister and I attended the movie premiere for the Disney Channel original film, Sharpay’s Fabulous Adventure—a spin-off from the High School Musical series.  

When it premiered, Disney Channel had also recently released a show called Shake it Up, starring up-and-comers Bella Thorne and Zendaya who both appeared at this movie premiere, likely to generate publicity for their new show.

At the premiere, my sister and I were lucky enough to meet and take photos with the movie’s leading actress and Disney icon, Ashley Tisdale.

After meeting Tisdale, Thorne and Zendaya approached my sister and I because we all happened to be wearing similar outfits. I didn’t know who they were and I found this coincidence more annoying than flattering.

When Thorne and Zendaya came over to us, they immediately complimented our outfits and started talking to us—it quickly became apparent they wanted us to ask them for a picture.

Having just met Tisdale and being unfamiliar with their show, we brushed them off as if we were the famous ones.

Seven years later, after watching both of their star powers soar, it’s suffice to say my sister and I have some regrets about the encounter.”

—    Sarah Mandel


“This past summer, I worked at an overnight summer camp.

For whatever reason, Kardinal Offishall—who you may know from his major hit single 'Dangerous' featuring Akon—came up to the camp one evening with his family to visit for the weekend.

The family arrived pretty late in the day and they hadn’t eaten yet, so another staff member and I were given the task of personally cooking a gluten-free dinner for the Offishalls. The stir-fry was dangerously good.”

—    Anonymous


“My mum is from England but eventually relocated to Ottawa, where I was raised. When she heard that Queen Elizabeth II would be coming to visit the Governor General’s residence in Canada’s capital, she naturally dragged our entire family there.

We ended up standing around for a while in the crowd waiting for her Majesty to arrive. Since I was about four or five years old, I was obviously not handling the long wait well.

When my parents weren’t looking, another girl my age and I snuck away to the beautiful red carpet laid out for the Queen. We slipped under a rope to stand on the carpet with a procession of other girls in fancy clothes holding bouquets. I didn’t know who they were or what they were doing, but I joined them as if I was meant to be there.

After a few minutes, I saw this old lady start walking down the carpet towards us. She took the flowers one by one from the girls and slowly made her way towards me. When she arrived in front of me, I had no clue who she was and what she wanted from me.

I told her, 'I don’t have any flowers for you!' and she threw her head back and laughed. I only learned later that I had been speaking with the Queen of England, and I remained firmly convinced for much of my childhood that the Queen hated me.”

—    Tegwyn Hughes

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