A right Royal day to remember

Dave and Elizabeth Parker at Buckingham Palace Garden Party
Dave and Elizabeth Parker at Buckingham Palace Garden Party

SOME things remain with you for the rest of your lives and last week was one of them.

My wife and I were invited by the Queen to her last of three Garden Parties at Buckingham Palace for this summer and it was a real eye-opener.

Prior to the Tuesday afternoon with the royals we crammed in a superb performance of the Jersey Boys - the story of Frankie Valli- at the Prince Edward Theatre, seen comedian Alan ‘Chatty’ Carr rushing past us while on his mobile, walked miles through the centre of London, done the Duck Tour which sees you end up in the Thames, had a glass or two of wine in Covent Garden, taken tea at Claridges and then been personally shown around the Parliament buildings at Westminster by the Deputy Speaker’s PA just as the News Corporation phone hacking inquiry was kicking off.

It just started to rain early Tuesday afternoon as we jumped in a cab in our finery and the driver said I know where you are going!

It was lashing down five minutes later as we arrived at the nearest Buckingham Palace entrance to our hotel but thankfully he took us round the corner and we queued with umbrella raised to eventually go in the front entrance.

We made our way into the Palace and then out the other side on to the huge lawns.

The sun was out by now and it looked splendid as we took it all in with to our right a regimental band from the Army and to our left an RAF swing band.

On a walk by the lake we said good afternoon to Sir John Major and Lady Major and then made our way back in readiness for the Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh to come out with the rest of the royals that included Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall, Princess Anne and Prince Edward and the Countess of Wessex.

In the channels made by the Yeomen of the Guard, and I would best describe top and hat tailed stewards from the likes of Ascot and Epsom, BBC News reader and Antiques Roadshow presenter Fiona Bruce right in front facing us was brought forward with her husband to meet the Duke again after interviewing him for his 90th birthday.

Heading off to the royal enclosure for tea was Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees, Lord Coe and his wife, the Majors, and we also saw Defence secretary Liam Scott and Transport secretary Philip Hammond.

We had tea which included a variety of sandwiches and mini rolls, Victoria sponge cake, strawberry and raspberry tarts and lemon curd tarts with a cup of tea, followed later as you walked around again by tubs of strawberry ice cream.

Elizabeth and I were approached by former Brighouse Town footballer Bob Pinder and his wife Carey with the question of: Are you David Parker of the Brighouse Echo?

I did not have a fiver ready in the old Andy Capp days of the Daily Mirror on the promenades of England to present to Bob, who was there in his capacity as a Regional Director for the Institute of Chartered Accountants - besides he hadn’t brought a copy of the Echo with him.

Carey then sneaked out her smart phone and we quickly snapped some pictures before they came for us and threw us in the tower. Mobile phones and cameras are banned.

It was good to see and chat to local people on what they thought of the day and we then spent the last hour with them before the Queen and her family retired indoors at 6pm.

While all this was going on my eldest daughter Charlotte Henbest was in labour in the Halifax Maternity Unit and we kept getting update texts from her husband Stuart.

She eventually gave birth at 8.54pm and we were in an Italian restaurant in Victoria and boy did we then celebrate with a couple of Irish coffees on top of the claret we had sunk in anticipation.

Little Isobelle Lucy is now doing well and has given our grandson Daniel David a sister.

Stuart’s parents Andrew and Linda have flown from their home in Spain. Andrew is a former Brighouse undertaker and airport taxi service operator so many readers will know him.

My next job is to go into Harrison Lord and see framers Chris and Malcolm and record everything from the invitation letter to the pictures.

Incidentally, Bob was celebrating the week before when his daughter Rachel qualified at the Hull and York Medical School as a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery and she will now start work on Tuesday at Pinderfields Hospital, Wakefield.

Next week in Echo Sport I will profile Bob further as he played alongside some notable local players and still keeps his hand in with an annual appearance in the Ray White Memorial game at the Dual Seal Stadium.

l TWO weeks ago I mentioned Lightcliffe racehorse owner and breeder Chris Green and his horse Polish World winning at Beverley, and hoping he had a few pounds to cover the cost of average training fees of around £1,300 a month as the prize money was not good.

Mr Green says his trainer Paul Midgley doesn’t charge half that amount and he, Mr Green, is not a gambler.