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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
High drama preceded Sarah Hickerson's meeting with the Queen in Hong Kong 29 years ago. The 37-year-old company director from Hertfordshire recalls the atmosphere of expectation.

"I was an eight-year-old schoolgirl in Hong Kong and was one of the lucky ones chosen by my school to meet the Queen and Prince Philip at City Hall.

"On the day, there were hundreds of us from different schools, waiting patiently in the sweltering heat.

"Was it the heat or the excitement? My vision blurred, my head started to spin, and I slipped to the ground in a dead faint.

"I was stretchered to an ambulance outside - they were prepared for this - and begged them to let me go back.

"One paramedic cooled me down with a Chinese fan and another made me drink a revolting rehydration concoction.

"A third whizzed me back to my place behind the barriers just minutes before the royal party arrived.

"I shook hands with both the Queen and Prince Philip.

"He said to me: 'You're very blonde in this sea of dark heads.'

"My parents and little brother were waiting outside and saw them leave.

"My brother, who was four at the time, was disappointed and asked Mum: 'Where's the Queen?'

"She replied: 'There, in the yellow hat.' It took a long time for him to get over the fact that she didn't wear a crown.

"I will be spending the jubilee weekend with 13 11-year-old boys and camp followers on a football tour to Clacton, which I'm organising.

"I admire the Queen - what dedication! I really felt for her in the past few months, having to grieve so publicly for her sister and mother.

"But she has always shown that strength, not just in times of personal crisis, and I think that she must really be an incredible woman."

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