Those of you who have been reading my blog for a while will remember the exciting news we received last January; my Grandma was nominated for a new years award for services to old and vulnerable people. Sadly she did not live to collect the award in person but her memory lived on last week as various members of the family made the trip to see the Queen and receive the honour posthumously.
As it turned out it was Prince Charles and not the Queen who was the royal at the investiture ceremony, although this did not detract from the beauty of the occasion. The nominated family members received an official purple invite to Buckingham Palace along with a huge list of important procedures to follow. Day dress and a fascinator were the order of the day, which left us feeling very over dressed as we battled the busy commuter train.
A ride in an iconic London taxi felt rather special as we entered the palace, where after showing official identification we were admitted behind the iron gates.
Missed the changing of the guards, but were amazed to see them inside the palace standing so still we thought they were statues.
Depositing bags, coats and cameras in the cloakroom we freshened up in the toilets. Not as grand as I would have expected but it was very reassuring to be surrounded by other beautiful ladies with gorgeous outfits and hair arrangements.
Walking into the beautiful ballroom, surrounded with magnificent paintings and listening to exquisite music whilst sitting on a velvet bench felt incredibly grand: The perfect background for such a special occasion.
The ceremony lasted for around an hour and a half, the musicians played from the balcony throughout as the enthralled audience watched their loved ones being called and then receiving their award. We saw someone being knighted and read of the many amazing reasons everyday people had been chosen to receive either an MBE, OBE or other prestigious awards. It was really moving to hear of the awards given in the face of death or see a sweet elderly couple enter hand in hand to receive an award for services to fostering.
It was incredibly special to hear my Grandma's name and know all her hard work had been recognised.
It was also lots of fun to hold the award in the courtyard as we battled the freezing wind and posed for photographs.
|My beautiful mum and daughter.|
The beefeaters were very obliging, even to middle girl who unbeknownst to me had taken her plastic pig and cow to the palace, don't think they were on the official list!
Hearing the national anthem, joining in the ancient ceremonies of the investiture and being caught up in the amazing emotion of the day, left me feeling very proud to be British and part of something so glorious and long lasting.
Have you ever had a "proud to be British" moment?