The day I met the Queen
June 22nd started as a lovely sunny day when I, like thousands of others, all volunteers in local organisations, was going to see the Queen at Alnwick Castle – such an honour. I donned my Sunday best, drove to the car park, walked through the Pastures and along with Val Connell and Josie Buddle I waited for the bus to take us up the hill. Then just before we got into the bus the heavens opened. However, just before the Queen arrived the rain stopped.
As the fanfare started the royal group came into the castle, accompanied by Alan Shearer, just one of the 32 deputies to the Lord Lieutenant of Northumberland, the Duchess of Northumberland.
The deputy assigned to our little group was a lady called Bryony Gibson from Hexham. She looked after us, reminding us of the protocol when meeting the Queen and the Duke.
Several groups of eight were brought forward. I couldn’t help being slightly overwhelmed at the thought. I was presented, for the work I do for the Great North Air Ambulance. It was indeed a great occasion for all those in our group, representing Fire & Rescue, R.N.L.I. and the Great North Air Ambulance.
The Queen shook hands with each of us and asked what we did in our roles. It was, I thought very emotional to hear people like Val talk about her role as secretary of the ladies guild and her husband John being the Coxwain of the Lifeboat. The Queen was interested in everything that was said.
After the Queen passed by the Duke of Edinburgh came along. He also spoke to each one in our group: he asked me if I wasn’t cold, to which I said, ‘yes but it was worth it!’ Seemingly he was heard to say when they got off the train that it was cold up here!
From what has been said about the day and from all the photos taken it is obvious that the royal pair enjoyed themselves. It is a great pity we do not get the pleasure of their company a little more often. This kind of attention in our county is so uplifting and will be a talking point for many months.