OTTAWA - After three days of watching the royal couple come and go from public appearances throughout Ottawa, this much is clear: for those hoping to have a moment with the would-be monarchs, it's all about location, location, location.
Mary Aubrey now knows the ropes. She's been at almost every one of Prince William and Kate's public events in the nation's capital since they arrived in Canada on Thursday.
Aubrey, 21, was one of the first through the gates of Rideau Hall for their formal welcome.
She raced to the top of a hill to be as close as possible to the official podium. Except, she was too close — the couple didn't do a walkabout that far up.
So on Canada Day, she tried a different tact — sheer force.
She arrived on Parliament Hill at 7:15 a.m. and lined up against the security tape. When the crowd starting surging forward, she pushed along with them, ending up right at the front of the barricade.
"(Kate) walked right up to me. It was a fantastic moment," she said as she waited for the couple's final public stop in Ottawa on Saturday.
"I couldn't be any prouder."
She advises fans in other cities to be tenacious, and to get there early.
Smaller events, like many the couple will take part in over the next week are likely better places to try meeting the royal pair than the massive spectacles of the last few days.
British media who make a career following the couple suggest one of the obvious ways to position for a chance meeting is to be within sight of a main entrance. That's where the motorcade will arrive and leave. They are more likely to do a walkabout among their fans on the way out of an event than they are on the way in.
The duo, known formally as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, appear to enjoy what minutes they have to mingle.
At a veterans' reception in Ottawa on Saturday, they were only supposed to stop and chat with the first three tables. They instead worked the entire room.
Those lucky enough to be part of official events acknowledge their good fortune.
Cpl. Andrew Knisely was one of the soldiers specifically picked to meet the couple. The veteran of the Afghan war is an amputee and part of a team involved in the rehabilitation of wounded soldiers through sport.
He said it was significant to him that while others in the room had a few seconds with the royals, he had several minutes.
"The royal couple, as I'm finding out, are very nice that way," said Knisely.
"They take the time to go and meet everyone."
Sometimes the encounters are by chance.
The 25 people sworn in as new citizens before William and Kate on Canada Day only found out last week about their high-profile guests, though they'd know about the ceremony itself for weeks.
So far, security officials have been generous in how much access they'll allow to the couple; a woman managed to give William a pair of sunglasses and a bag on Friday as he worked the crowds on Parliament Hill.
The pair usually work crowd lines separately, criss-crossing back and forth.
Gimmicks like a Welsh flag draped over a banner have caught William's eye — he and Kate live in Wales.
Kate seems drawn to meeting the younger girls dressed in their best and beaming at the chance of meeting real royalty.
But that hasn't stopped older women from also trying to woo her affections.
Myrtle Herzog brought a bouquet of orchids to Rideau Hall on Thursday.
"I thought this would be a different flower, probably most people wouldn't give her orchids," she said.
It worked. Herzog waved the flowers, calling out to the Duchess and finally, the Toronto woman had her royal moment.
"It was wonderful," she said, with a happy sigh.
The royal couple left Ottawa for Montreal on Saturday.