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Tuesday, 4 June, 2002, 13:38 GMT 14:38 UK
'She was our Queen too'
Joseph family from High Wycombe
Sheila, left, Ayesha and Winnie join the party

Sheila Joseph can remember the red, white and blue dress she wore to a party for the Queen's Coronation 50 years ago.

"My auntie made it and I wore matching red, white and blue ribbons in my hair," the 64-year-old recalled.

But Sheila's new frock was not on show in a rainy street in gloomy post-war Britain.


Our country was British, remember, and she was our Quee

Sheila Joseph
Royal fan

Instead, it got its first viewing under the tropical sun of the West Indian island of St Vincent.

Half a century later the sun might have been less hot but Sheila was just as enthusiastic to celebrate with her monarch again, this time in London.

"We watched the whole Coronation on television in St Vincent." she said.

"We all attended a church service and had a party afterwards at school.

"Our country was British, remember, and she was our Queen. We were very proud."

Different Britain

Sheila had travelled from her home in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, to watch Tuesday morning's royal procession with her grand-daughter Ayesha and sister Winnie Audaine, 61.

She and Winnie left St Vincent in the 1960s and arrived in Britain like countless other Commonwealth subjects.

They were not always greeted with the warmest of welcomes, Winnie recalls, but the Queen remained as ever, their Queen.


I think she's done a great job and you've got to show your appreciation for someone who's reigned for 50 years

Winnie Audaine

"Some people did not want us here," she said. "They had views like Enoch Powell.

"But that was about politics and the Queen was always separate.

"She always said how much she liked the Commonwealth and she was our Queen as much as anyone else's.

Handsome prince

"I think she's done a great job and you've got to show your appreciation for someone who's reigned for 50 years.

"I saw her once when I was 16 and she and Princess Margaret visited St Vincent.

"I remember how pretty she was."

That admiration for those Royal looks has been passed on to the younger generation of the Joseph family.

Twelve-year-old Ayesha has like many young British girls, got a soft spot for a certain young prince.

"William is gorgeous," she said with a grin.

"This day is something I will remember forever."


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04 Jun 02 | England
04 Jun 02 | Wales
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