A Special Day to Remember
By Lillian Lowe
I have been honoured by Her Majesty the Queen to attend a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace. It was on Tuesday, 20th July 2010, for my Outstanding Services to Feather Paintings.
After a very pleasant journey by Taxi we eventually arrived at the Palace Gates. Jennie my Daughter came with me, we were both very perfectly dressed for the occasion. Our instructions were to go straight to the front gates. We would pass the Security Guard there and they then directed us to go to a certain area. When we got to this area there were soldiers waiting in their Red uniforms. They were Grenadier Guards. One of them came to us and asked Jennie if he could help her by pushing the wheelchair and me over the gravel path. Jennie and I were very grateful he took us. He talked to us on the way and said they had just come back from Afghanistan and now they were at the Palace. He was so nice and took me on the grass near to the Big Marque. There were a lot of people there, the women in their finery and the men in their Top Hats and Morning suits. There were several Mayors and Mayoresses in their Chains of Office. The chains were very elegant. There were special men very smartly dressed always ready to help if needed. We managed to get a table and chair for Jennie, because I had my own. Jennie went and fetched the refreshments and she brought back two plates of delicious savouries and a sweet delicacies. These were all very delicious and very well presented. We talked to a few people who were very interesting.
Then we noticed a lot of people forming a big crowd all down the centre from the Marque with the Crown on, so we realised that Her Majesty the Queen was near and going to come soon, because the Band was playing. We realised we would never get through the crowd, so Jennie suggested we visit the Lake and Rose Garden. There were lots of people strolling around. The Lake was so lovely and also the Rose Garden. Jennie said the perfume was so lovely from the roses. We enjoyed our stroll and passers by would talk to us. There was always help at hand.
Then a very tall immaculately dressed man came to tell us at 5.20 p.m. we should make our way to the other side of the Royal Marque, after Her Majesty had had her tea and there would be someone to direct us, so that we could see everything. They mentioned this to all the wheelchair people. We waited and another gentleman came and beckoned all the wheel chaired people and their Carers to all line up along the Palace Wall. Everyone was happy and friendly. Another big crowd of people, lots in wheel chairs lined up opposite. The Band started up and then it started. The Princess Royal [Ann] was the first to come and started speaking to all the people down the long line of wheel chairs. She looked so lovely and was so nice she seemed to speak to everyone. There was a bit of a lull and the Band started playing and Her Majesty the Queen came with her Lady in Waiting. She was speaking as she went along, smiling to us all, not hurrying, just nice and lovely. A number of Royals were all coming with her. Then came His Royal Highness Prince Phillip who laughed and joked as usual. All so natural, he was great. Then Prince Charles came speaking and making us so happy. He asked if we all came from the same place and a voice called out “No, we are from Somerset. It caused a lot of laughter. Lots of the Royal Party spoke to us all and then to my surprise Carmela came to me. I could see, she had recognised me and I did her. She wished me well as I did her also. She held her hand out and we shook hands. I was so pleased and felt we must had met, may be it was at the Royal Society of Arts, when I gave an Exhibition and a speech. Or it may have been at a WI, but I know we have met before. It felt so happy.
When all this Special time had finished, the next thing we saw was a Company of Yeomen of the Guards in their Red attire, walking passed. We could still have a last minute to look around and we then made for the Palace entrance to those beautiful long iron gates.
It was a truly Wonderful Day, to be always, Remembered.