In the Presence of Royalty

Yesterday I met the Queen Prince Philip

A couple of weeks ago the Somerset Guild of Craftsmen asked me if I would like to do a demonstration of mosaics at the Diamond Jubilee Country Fayre in Yeovil where the Queen would be visiting on her Royal visit.

Being completely dedicated (posh word for obsessed) to my “swanning” (mosaicing a swan)  and with a looming deadline for a school project and some work for the “Maker’s Exchange exhibition at the Devon Guild of Craftsmen” I said “no, sorry, I can’t fit it in.”

But Ian, my partner, suggested I should go as it would be a  new experience. (I think he is afraid I am turning into a shed hermit)

As myself , the Master of the Guild, David Brown  and another Guild member, stone mason, John Candler, had to submit a short biography, it seemed to suggest we were to be presented to the Queen.

Sleep isn’t my best point, neither is remembering names, so last night I lay awake trying to remind myself that I must say “Your Majesty to the Queen and “Your Royal Highness” to  Prince Philip and not the other way around! I also worried that I might break out into singing “God Save The Queen” – Sex Pistols Style.

We had a lovely display of crafts from several members of the Guild including a couple of my mosaics, and I had a small table on which to demonstrate the “art of making mosaics”. Here it is:

Notice the photo of my (in progress) swan? We tried to get permission to bring it, however they told us there wasn’t enough room!

Our arranged display changed a little a few seconds before the Queen came into the tent, when I decided the Queen wouldn’t be able to see my mosaic as John and I were standing in front of it. So we moved it once…and then again…to a more central position…just in time!

I had a really good view of the Queen as she began to walk from her car towards our tent. (Ours was the first one) I was feeling quite nervous…and you know when you are nervous every second feels like an hour? Well, she stopped before entering our tent to stroke the horses (I found out later it was a police horse called “Harry Patch” (named after the last Tommy who lived in Wells) , and this seemed to go on for hours.

When she entered our tent we stood still and watched. The girl at the entrance was introduced to her and made a small but well executed curtsy and I thought if I caught her eye I might try that. However she didn’t catch my eye and she wasn’t introduced to me, but David, the Master of the Guild was! She was interested in his beautiful slate sundials and as I became engrossed with their conversation I had completely forgotten about Prince Philip who must have been a few paces behind her all the time and who now was right next to me in his “flashers” mac. (I checked the buttons were done up!)  He said “Are these your crafts?” to me and John. Nearly gave me the fright of my life!  So caught unawares I didn’t have a chance to get it wrong and say “Your Majesty” or get it right and say “Your Royal Highness” and instead I said “I make the mosaics” and then John said “and mine are the stone carvings”. Prince Philip wanted to know if the stone was local and after a short discussion  about stone they left the tent.

Relieved our bit was over I decided to join the “paparazzi” and like everyone else took some candid snaps:

Oh yes and thought you might like to see  my invitation as it is so posh!

Next week I hope to have finished my swan and I’ll post some photos.

Come back soon!


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  1. Lovely story, great write up…super story for grandchildren later…and you can be proud of yourself and your work too..Well done….

  2. Thanks for reading Adam, Marcelo, Judith and Karla! Karla I hope to “embroider” the story when I tell my grandchildren (hopefully many years to come yet!) I shall have to tell them that Prince Philip cut a tile and the Queen bought my work!

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