It is remarkable to me (where did the years go to?) that I was 6 year's old at the time of The Queen's accession to the throne. I don't have many family photographs of that time but here I am in 1951, aged 5.
I am at a street party in Widnes, visiting my grandparents for the Festival of Britain. I am the girl in the corner of the photograph (nibbling away!) with the enormous bows in my hair.
Two members of the family have had the honour of meeting Royalty. In 1954, dear Uncle Freddie, when he was The Town Clerk in Kampala, Uganda had the pleasure of receiving the Queen. Luckily for our family, he was a very keen photographer and recorded the occasion in a Family Album.
This tour was very early on in The Queen's lifetime of Commonwealth visits and how fortunate am I to witness the commencement of her journey taken through a camera lens held by one of the family.
The third Royal occasion concerns my elder daughter, who at the time was working for itv. She had been involved with the organisation of a Party for John Thaw, the actor, when he retired after Inspector Morse. How well I remember her telling me what a lovely man he was. When he tragically died, aged 60 in 2002, she was asked to organise his Remembrance Service. Prince Charles was to attend the Service but had said that he did not wish his presence to overshadow the occasion. Arrangements were made for him to arrive and leave by a side entrance of St Martin-in-the-Fields. As you can imagine, my daughter was busy rushing around making sure that everything was in place and then at the allotted time, went to greet Prince Charles. As he arrived, she looked down at her feet and realised she was still wearing her trainers, having meant to change into her heeled shoes. Shocked, she blurted this out, much to Prince Charles and the Vicar's amusement. The itv camera man captured it all and when she got back to her office, there she was on her computer screen.
Just to wrap up this rather lengthy post, my elder daughter is presently the General Manager of the Portsmouth Festivities, Great Expectations, and at the launch in April, Sheila Hancock, the actress and John Thaw's widow, read an extract from Nicholas Nickleby. My daughter had previously known Sheila because of the events listed above. When Sheila was handed a beautiful bouquet of flowers at the end of the evening, she immediately handed them over to my daughter and said 'You deserve these so much more than I do'. Wasn't that the loveliest thing to do?
If you are in or around the Portsmouth area between 22 June to 1 July 2012, there's a Dickens of a lot going on. Just visit the website and see what is on offer, or add it to Facebook or give it a tweet. Thanks for your support!
Wherever you are, whatever you are involved in this weekend, have a fabulous time.