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The Golden Jubilee 1952-2002

I met the Queen

Anthony Stoddart
Margaret Obi
Sarah Hickerson
Gavin Owen
Pam Shearer
Gary Bridle
Gary Bridle, 37, became an overnight celebrity in his hometown of Farnham in Surrey after meeting the Queen at Buckingham Palace 10 years ago. The customer services manager now lives in Southampton.

"The local press turned up to take my picture as I was leaving to go to Buckingham Palace.

"I was accepting the Queen's award for technology and export on behalf of my company, Technophone.

"I was lucky enough to have a chauffeur for the day and we went straight up to the palace.

"We had the works - staff came out to open the car door, down the red carpet, palace staff leading us all the way.

"I can't remember all the names of the Lords and Ladies, but I do remember seeing John Major, who was Prime Minister at the time.

"The Queen was at the end of a line of dignitaries.

"Apparently she does not like being called Your Majesty. We had to call her Ma'am to rhyme with jam as the instruction sheet said.

"I do remember the Queen being 'not like the Queen'.

"She heard a small group of people talking when we were having drinks at the end.

"She came running over to them and I heard her say: 'I could hear you all laughing from the other end of the room so I came over to see what it was all about.' I think she was just happy.

"Soon after that, a vase was smashed on the floor, there was a sudden silence and the floor where it hit was suddenly empty because staff came in immediately to clear it up.

"Back at home, I was buying property and I recall going into the solicitors and the woman there recognised me from the paper.

"Well we're entitled to 15 minutes of fame. I got recognised for going to see the Queen so I have used up one minute there."

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