During our talk he mentioned he was on his way to perform a concert in Manhattan, New York, when his limousine pulled up in front of the theater and he noticed that he didn't have top billing on the marquee.
He then instructed his driver to turn around and bring him back to his hotel and he called in sick.
The next day he read in the New York Times that the His Royal Highness. Bhumibol Adulyadey, the King of Thailand, an avid jazz musician himself, had gone to see his concert and regretted having to miss him.
Over the next year I had the singular honor & privilege to travel with and report on His Majesty the King and beautiful Queen Sirikit's trips to the Hill Tribes in Northern Thailand.
On learning Duke Ellington would be making a similar trip to entertain the troops I contacted His Majesty's Principal Private Secretary and eventually was able to arrange for Duke Ellington
to Present A Royal Command Performance to benefit His Majesty's Hill Tribe Programs.
When the time arrived for me to meet Duke Ellington at the airport for a pre-performance interview, the word was that the performance was sold out and it was doubtful my husband and I would find seats.
Duke instructed us to have our driver follow his and he would insure we had good seats.
Anyone who has ever driven in Bangkok traffic will be unsurprised that we lost each other while en route to the Grand National Theater, however we were able to get good seats and see Duke Ellington 's magnificent performance.
And later at the Rama Hilton where he was staying, while relaxing over a drink a the night club, the house Filipino band was playing a new rendition of Frank Sinatra's hit: "I Did It My Way."
Duke turned to me and requested I ask the band leader how much he would charge to sell him his rendition of that song.
The band leader was so impressed that "The King of Jazz" liked his music that he handed it to me and refused any remuneration.
Now that's international musical collaboration on a "ROYAL and MAJESTIC" scale.