|H.M. Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother|
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This page is for your Alpha Delta memories of H.M. Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother.
Little Blue Lights and a Wedding Cake.
One of my early memories ( I have numerous others) of H.M.Q.M. go back to 1963, being night duty at Cannon Row and being posted to a 'Royal' movement of H.M.Q.M. at the 'Wedding Cake'j/w Constitution Hill as she made her way back to Clarence House in The Mall. H.M.had been to The Royal Albert Hall for a function. As a young P.C. this was a big event and I was under no illusions that I had to ' get it right' and please, please no accidents with the royal vehicle.
The vehicle was due at 10.45 pm at my designated junction. As usual we were 'on post' 10 minutes before the stated arrival time.
10.45 came and went, 10.50 came and went all this time your eyes were peering into the darkness up Constitution Hill towards Wellington Arch, looking for that minute blue light in the centre of the royal vehicle's windscreen. 11 pm came and went.
This was before the advent of radios and you then began to think have I missed her or is she really as late as this? Shall I go back to the nick? What if she comes after I've gone? What if she has an accident at 'my' junction?
(Over the years you learned that this was the norm for H.M.Q.M.)
I was beginning to see a small blue light in every car coming down Con Hill. This is her...No it isn't...this is the one....no it isn't.
11.15pm and I am sure this is THE one...yes it is...that's the blue light I'm looking for.
Sure enough this was the one, stop the roar of London's traffic around the 'Wedding Cake' (difficult with the poor street lighting in that area and fraught with danger of a 'prang').The car swept by gracefully and there she was.... in the rear seat, lit by a small light above her, showing off a magnificent light blue evening gown with all her jewellery glittering in the light against the night sky. To top it all a brilliant tiara whose facets caught every light possible...and then she was gone, into the darkness, once more.
Thank goodness I didn't leave my post thinking that I had missed her.
Oh well, I'd better rush now and relieve 3 Protection for his 'blow'.
John Holley,Ex PC 635'A'/152743
GOD BLESS HER!
I decided on Saturday to take my family to Westminster Hall. I suppose it was selfish reasons but I did give them the choice. So, myself & my dear wife Joan, (who I met on 5p.p. 09/09/57), my daughter Audrey & her two boys, Marc & Mathew aged 14 & 12, joined the queue on the east side of Lambeth Bridge. We picked the right time of 1940 hrs and made it to St. Stephens entrance exactly 2 hrs & 20 mins. later. I had been impressed when I saw Winston Churchills lying in state but this one was something special. I admit to having a lump in my throat ,along with many others, as I shuffled past the coffin. Nobody hurried us along and it was all over quite quickly. Like everyone else a last lingering look over the shoulder was a must as we all exited the North Door. I was moved. Why did I decide to go? It was a personal thing because I and many very young police officers, were privileged to have served on Royal "A". The bonus of course was actually being in her company on two occasions when doing relief duty at Clarence House. No conversation took place between us except for a "Good Morning officer, isn't it a fine day" This accompanied by that wonderful smile just put the crown on my day. We had occasion to wave to each other many times after that when I was posted to AW fo a couple of years. She was the only one who acknowledged the fact that her progress across Hyde Park Corner was as result of a couple or three bobbies stopping London so she could do so. She always waved and I always waved back even though it looked like a salute. As a reward at Christmas she sent a Christmas Pud to each one of us with a greeting attached. I for one am going to miss her but I will cherish her memory and never forget that smile. It was magic! God bless her.
Sam Main Ex Pc461'A'/145076
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