Inside Queens Meetings with royal fans that changed people’s lives

During her glorious 70-year reign, the Queen has wowed the public at thousands of events across Britain.

From school meals to hospices, RAF bases and market stalls, and greeting people on the streets of villages, towns and cities, the Queen has met young and old alike.

As we celebrate her platinum anniversary, here are some of your most treasured memories from meeting Her Majesty.

Robbie Maiden

In his official jumper and woolen hat, Robbie Maiden looked as the Queen visited the Royal National Lifeboat Institution for her Silver Jubilee in 1977.

The lifeboat crew had made sure Robbie wore the outfit when he was 10 years old.







Robbie Maiden was 10 years old when he met the Queen
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The now 55-year-old recalls: “The Queen came to Hartlepool to give a name to our new lifeboat, which my father was the helmsman of.

“I have been asked to present Her Majesty with a book on the history of the RNLI.

“I remember telling her I wanted to follow in my father’s footsteps and I’m proud to say I’m the current helmsman.”






George Herbert Vaughan is now 90 years old

George Herbert Vaughan

Horses are known to be one of the Queen’s favorite animals and Shetland locals had the perfect gift when she visited them in 1960.

Locals were raising money to buy a Shetland pony for Her Majesty when she arrived on Unst, one of the islands 100 miles off northern Scotland.

The Queen was traveling on the Royal Yacht Britannia with Prince Philip and their children, Prince Charles and Princess Anne.

George Herbert Vaughan, 90, and his wife Mary, from Lincolnshire, saw the monarch on the journey.

He says: “The Queen visited us at RAF Saxa Vord in Baltasound where she was given a guard of honour.”

The monarch was presented with a Shetland pony named Valkyrie.







George during the parade
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Glenys Elrick

Most people have never met the Queen, but Glenys Elrick has met her three times.

The 59-year-old first met her during the Golden Jubilee in Windsor in 2002, where she was snapped holding out her hand.

Glenys, from Keighley, West Yorks, said: “I leaned forward and said, ‘Congratulations, God bless you ma’am, thank you for 50 wonderful years.’







Glenys Elrick meets the Queen
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“The Queen smiled at me with the most beautiful smile and said, ‘Thank you, thank you very much.'”

Glenys’ other meetings were on the Queen’s 80th and 90th birthdays in Windsor, where she was able to present her with a card and flowers.

She says, “I’m happy every time I’ve met her and I look forward to seeing her again.”






Glenys said she was looking forward to seeing the Queen again





Lynne Follett-Carman says her grandma was a big royalist

Lynne Follet

Proud grandmother Eileen Dyke wouldn’t let a police cordon stop her granddaughter from meeting the monarch.

Lynne Follett-Carman, 44, from Taunton, Devon, says: “My grandma was a very big Royalist. When she heard the queen was in town, Nan took me to the flower shop to get a bouquet to give to the queen.

“I remember my grandma talking to a police officer. I think she persuaded him to let me give my flowers to the queen.”

Sadly, Eileen died last October at the age of 89, but the photo from the 1987 meeting still holds pride of place.

Lynne says: “My grandma was a very smart, smart woman and she loved the Queen. So she’s very proud of the picture of me from that day and so am I.”







Lynne Follett, aged 9, presents a bouquet of flowers to the Queen in Taunton
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Caron Webb

Her Majesty is rarely photographed without one of the handbags from her vast collection.

So it was fitting that market trader Caron Webb, 49, was standing in front of a stall full of them when she first met her in 2002.

Recalling the encounter at her local market in Romford, east London, she says: “She asked a lot of questions about what trade is like.

“I was standing in front of a handbag stand and I think she had her eye on a pair because she asked me where we got our supplies from.

“I told her that would be meaningful and we both laughed. She was very warm and sweet, but behind those kind eyes you can tell she’s quite an impressive woman – a ruler.”

Caron met her again in 2008 at the Royal Windsor Horse Show. She says: “As the Queen walked by, I said ‘Hello ma’am.’ “She nodded, said hello and walked on.

“She was there especially for the horses. So there was no time for a conversation.”







Market trader Caron Webb at her Storky Baby stall at Romford Market
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Raj Rana

Standing alongside Gordon Ramsay, Raj Rana was on edge as he awaited the Queen’s arrival for a hospitality celebration.

Raj, 44, owner of Itihaas restaurant in Birmingham, was invited to the star-studded event at Buckingham Palace in 2008.

He says Chef Ramsay tried to crack jokes to calm his nerves, adding: “But when the Queen entered the room, there was silence.







Raj Rana met the Queen with Gordon Ramsay at Buckingham Palace in 2012
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“For a small lady, she has a tremendous aura.”

Raj also met her at the Queen’s garden party in 2014 through his charity Let’s Feed Brum.

He says, “She just walked up to people to start the conversation, make sure they had something to drink, point to different marquees and say, ‘You have to watch your food’.”







Raj is the owner of Itihaas restaurant in Birmingham
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Grace Garnet

She may be used to choirs at Westminster Abbey, but the Queen has also enjoyed modest performances.

As a teenager, Grace Garnett, 83, sang for the Queen at Binfield Church in Bracknell, Berks in the early 1950s.

Husband Martin, 84, says: “Grace says she is very lucky to have seen the Queen every Sunday. There was a time when the Queen attended Sunday services at Bracknell when she was visiting her cousin, Major John Lycett Wills.”






Grace and Martin Garnett on their diamond wedding anniversary in 2020

In 1962, after settling in Wokingham, Grace was asked to make a bouquet for the Queen’s visit to City Hall. The couple also received a card from the Queen for their diamond wedding anniversary.

Martin, a former member of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers Band who performed at the visit, recalls: “Grace was working in a florist’s shop when the Queen’s lady-in-waiting asked her if she had time to make a bouquet for Her Majesty. Grace loved it.”






The couple received a card from the Queen

Vaughan Williams

Alongside the celebrations, the Queen has helped those who have suffered tragedy.

Vaughan Williams first met her six years after the 1966 coal disaster in Aberfan.

It was the Queen’s second trip to the south Wales city, but he’s lost count of the number of times he’s seen her since.

Merthyr Tydfil’s Vaughan is such a regular at the Queen’s public appearances in Wales that he was invited to her 80th birthday luncheon.







Vaughan met the Queen several times
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And at an event in Swansea in 2012, he was delighted when the monarch recognized him in the crowd.

Vaughan says, “As soon as she spotted me, she came over and said, ‘What are you doing here?’

“Before that, I saw them mainly in Cardiff. I was so amazed that she knew my face. She’s always been incredibly kind and charming, but this moment was extra special.”






Vaughan Williams was delighted when the monarch recognized him in the crowd

Barney Durrant

Not many people can say they’ve shared a meal with the Queen, but it’s a moment that’s still talked about in Barney Durrant’s family.

He was six when the monarch attended Marham Infant School at the town’s RAF base in Norfolk in 1976, where Barney’s father was a wing commander.

Barney says: “My dad showed her the base and my parents had lunch with her.






Barney Durrant also met the Queen

“They remembered that the Queen ate very slowly as all the plates were cleared as soon as she was done.”

The 51-year-old from East Grinstead, West Sussex, met her again 31 years later in 2007 at Google headquarters during the launch of the Royal YouTube channel.

Barney recalls, “I remember being surprised at how small she was. Her Majesty asked a lot of questions and was interested in everything, although I could imagine she wasn’t a big YouTube user.”






Caroline says the Queen is ‘glowing and charming’

Caroline Miley

The monarch’s warmth is what Caroline Miley remembers as she reminisces about their meeting.

She says the Queen was “glowing and charming” when she visited Sue Ryder’s St Johns Hospice in Moggerhanger, Beds, in 2006.







Caroline Miley with Her Majesty during a visit to Sue Ryder’s St Johns Hospice, Moggerhanger, Bedfordshire
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Caroline, 62, says: “At the time we had a woman with a very disfigured face from cancer and it smelled pretty bad.

“The Queen didn’t bat an eyelid, she chatted heartily with her. It makes me very emotional to think about it. The patient was so made up.

“Initially she didn’t want to meet the Queen because she was embarrassed, but it was fine. It was such a beautiful, beautiful afternoon.”

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Fry Electronics Team

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