The day I met the Queen: We were overwhelmed by the response when we asked for your treasured memories of Her MajestyHere are some of the most touching…
22:46 GMT, 25 May 2012
SHE SEEMED SO HAPPY: Mitzi Marley, 71, is from Pury End, near Towcester, Northamptonshire. ‘I was brought up in Kenya, where my father Mervyn Cowie, a great conservationist, showed Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip around Nairobi National Park. I was 11, and I can still remember presenting the Princess with a silk scarf bearing a map of the Park. The Princess thanked me in her charming way. Prince Philip joined me and commented, “It’s very lovely out here, isn’t it” Elizabeth seemed so happy. Two days later though, on 6 February, the King died and the Princess had to return home. I can remember feeling so terribly sad for her
TWINKLY IN HER TIARA: Rosemary Phillips, now 65 and living in Christchurch, Dorset, was ten when she presented a bouquet to the Queen at the premiere of Dunkirk at the Empire Leicester Square in 1958. ‘I was chosen as my father was in charge of the Dunkirk Veterans Parade, and I had lessons in how to curtsey from my PE teacher. The Queen was wearing a pale pink satin dress embroidered with deep pink and red Flanders poppies. She was absolutely beautiful, all glittery and twinkly in her tiara. She said, “What a lovely bouquet, you must be very proud of your father.”'
PETITE AND VERY ATTRACTIVE: Lorna Wright, 59, lives in Poole, Dorset, and was a 20-year-old Wren when she met the Queen at the Royal Tournament at Earls Court, London, in 1972. ‘I’m only 5ft 4in, but I remember being really surprised at how small she seemed – very attractive, but petite. She asked me what I did and I told her I was a ship’s cook. This year is also a special one, as I will be 60 on 5 June, Jubilee day.’
SHE LAUGHED SO MUCH: Harry Jones, 78, from Milton Keynes, was a building inspector for the council when the Queen opened their new offices in 1979. ‘After the ceremony she walked around, stopping at various desks. When she came to mine she asked what I did and, without thinking, I said, “No more than I can help, Ma’am.” She laughed so much the entire office burst into laughter. I did then actually show her what I did before she moved on.’
DOWN THE HATCH LIKE A DUCK TO WATER: Lou Armstrong, from Malton, North Yorkshire, was 24 and Leading Radio Electrical Mechanic on the nuclear sub HMS Valiant when the Queen visited in 1969. ‘It was a bitterly cold and wet July day and my instructions were, “Do whatever you want – but make sure the Queen doesn’t get wet.” I’m the one with the umbrella. She went straight down the hatch like a duck to water. Noticing that I was shivering, she asked if an extra tot of rum would warm me up. I didn’t say no, so she ordered that everyone should have one. Then she spliced the mainbrace, which meant we got three tots. I’ve been a fan of the Queen ever since.’
A BIG HUG FOR THE QUEEN: Amanda Wood, 50, from Blackden Heath, Cheshire, was with her daughters, Rosie, now 16, and Sophie, 18, when the Queen visited The King’s School in Macclesfield in 2002. ‘We’d brought flowers, but never expected to meet Her Majesty. Then, to my surprise, the royal bodyguards hoisted the girls over the barrier. When Rosie handed over her flowers, she suddenly gave the Queen a big hug. But she
didn’t wince – in fact she gave a broad smile.’
A GIFT FOR HER GRANDDAUGHTER: Mrs Audrey Jouxson was a member of the Phobbies Club, which helps disabled people acquire new skills, at Dersingham, Norfolk, when the Queen visited in 2005. Her daughter Suzanne says, ‘Although 88, deaf and blind, my mother enjoyed knitting toys to raise funds. The Queen asked her how she managed to make such lovely toys despite her disability, and my mother replied, “With great difficulty, Your Majesty.” The Queen said she loved her tiny knitted dogs and bought one for her latest granddaughter, Lady Louise.’
WE DOFFED OUR HELMETS: James Fotheringham, 90, of Little Ouseburn, North Yorkshire, was colliery manager when the Queen made her first underground visit at Rothes Colliery, Fife, in June 1958. ‘Here I am escorting the Queen around the coalface. We were all so impressed by her enthusiasm that if she’d told us to jump into the drainage ditch we would have done. When she reached the bottom of the pit, we doffed our helmets in her honour.’
Her Majesty's horsewomen…
Katie Jerram, 48, from Great Dunmow in Essex, trains horses to show standard.
‘We’ve had about 15 of the Queen’s horses over the years. I go back to Windsor with them once a year and meet Her Majesty to talk about how they’re getting on. She always has a little bag of carrots for them.
'When she wins, it’s lovely. Last year I won on Stardust for her at the Royal Windsor Horse Show. I rode past and smiled and she clapped, with a big beaming smile. The smile said everything.’
I RODE PAST AND SHE CLAPPED: Kate with the Queen
Barbara Rosen, 78, was a groom at Windsor Castle from 1953 until 1960. She lives in Manchester.
‘As a groom I used to go riding with the Queen – usually at weekends and often just the two of us. Normally she was chatty, and we often talked about her racehorses'
'Anne was always a fearless rider as a little girl – she was always falling off but she’d get back on again. Charles wasn’t as confident, or as enthusiastic.
'The Queen used to discuss what to do with Charles because he wasn’t that keen. She wanted him to carry on riding, I suppose because it was expected of him. I used to tell him to get on with it and get back on the horse.
VERY NICE FAMILY TO WORK FOR: Babara leads Anne as the Queen follows, left, and in the Windsor stables
‘They were a very nice family to work for. The children knew that if their papa said anything to them they had to take notice, but if the Queen did it was “only Mummy”. They were nice children. There was no real fuss made of them. But one day, when Charles was about seven, I asked him what his mother was doing at the weekend and he said, “Do you mean the Queen” I thought, “Hello, he’s starting to know who he is.”’