Newlands residents’ royal encounters and memories

To celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, we asked our residents to share some of their royal encounters with us. Fascinating!

What a fairy tale! A beautiful queen in a gold coach pulled by snow white horses. Could a child of ten believe that it was really happening in London?
It must have been a colourful procession but that could only be imagined as we stared, spellbound at a small black and white television which was a wonderful ‘magic box’, a wondrous new purchase. This was a delight for one and all; the whole street crowded in!
Chairs were lined up in rows; cushions on the floor for the children and everyone dressed in their Sunday best!
It poured all day! We were used to that in Wales! It didn’t matter though, as we tucked into a delicious celebratory tea, the highlight being Mummy’s ‘special occasion’ trifle.
That night, Daddy carefully assembled a cardboard cut-out of the coronation procession on my bedroom window sill, which perfectly rounded off a very exciting day: and so to bed to dream of out new Queen and Buckingham Palace.
Could we go there to see her pleeeeeease?
Fast forward many years and yes, I would go to Buckingham Palace garden parties, one as Master of The Worshipful Company of Feltmakers.
St James’ Palace is where I met the Queen Mother, and dined at charity dinner with Prince William and Catherine. Princess Anne, Prince Edward, Prince Charles and Camilla have all prompted a curtsey and a chat, but I still haven’t met the Queen!
Eda Lawson

Allan was just nine years old when he took part in Queen Elizabeth II Coronation.
“We were woken at 4am, having little sleep that night. From the coach which took us to London, I was amazed at the crowds lining the streets near the Abbey, some of whom has been there for three days.
By 6.30am as we were lining up in the south cloisters, I remember being told that Mount Everest had been conquered by Sir Edmond Hillary, which I found extremely exciting!”
Positioned high up in the Abbey rafters on specially constructed platforms near the organ loft, Allan remembers in was cramped and uncomfortable as the choristers were nearly there for eight hours.
There was a huge advantage to being so high up, Allan recalls the magnificent view of all the dazzling pageantry, especially all the gold and silver of the mantles of the nobility.
“We saw the Queen curtsey to each corner of the 8,000 strong congregation, North, South, East and West after they had cried ‘God save the Queen!”
Chorister rations for the day fitted into their cassock pockets. Sandwiches, Horlicks tablets and a small bottle of milk; “Most of which was consumed long before the first note was sung!”

Allan Ledger

(Pictured Allan Ledger age 9. Allan Ledger’s tickets for the Coronation and rehearsals).

I came down to London with my mother. We had seats in the stands. It rained and we were soaked. I felt sorry for the Queen!
Nancie Kirmond 
(Pictured. Nancie Kirmond’s ticket for a seat in the stand on Whitehall. £4 is worth over £100 in today’s money).

I was 18, living at home, in London with my parents.
I was with a friend; we came back for dinner and then stayed out all night!
Joan Allen 

I was very lucky to watch from and excellent seat in a stand opposite the Calvalry Club on Piccadilly given 2 seats by a brother in the army. Sat with a friend; we had to sit for a long time!
Poured with rain a lot of the time. My main memory is of the Queen of Tonga (large lady in a carriage) coming in procession from the Ritz Hotel.
Diana Priaulx 

I saw the Queen when she visited the Naval College at Dartmouth to see Prince Charles’ passing out parade. It rained!
Audrey Rogers

I met the Queen when she visited Bracknell. I curtsied and she shook my hand. She had very blue eyes.
Kath Thomas