Greenford Evening this week enjoyed the company of Dr Barry Twigg MBE who gave a very interesting talk, They are Changing More than the Guard at Buckingham Palace.
After working with the Palace in different guises over many years, Barry recounted some interesting facts about this iconic building Barry related that the building has not been updated since the 1950s, so extensive work will result in three years’ disruption along with some staff being moved into prefabs for the duration. The Queen is at present in Balmoral on her annual holiday.
More interestingly, Barry quoted some great quips by the Duke of Edinburgh whilst he worked with him on his Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme, the Duke always ready for a joke and a laugh with recipients.
The Garden Parties present huge logistical challenges as around 30,000 members of the public who have contributed to the good of the country are invited over the year at Buckingham Palace, and now Windsor.
The huge amount of catering, parking, security and unfortunately, due to such large numbers, the dreaded queueing, pose extra challenges.
The Investitures are only carried out by the main members of the Royal Family, ie. The Queen, Prince Charles, Princess Anne and Prince William. Guests are taken to the magnificent Ballroom and given pointers as to how to accept the honours. These take place around three times a year.
When the idea for 100th birthday cards idea was first conceived, only a couple of hundred cards were issued by the Queen annually. That number has now risen to 14,000. Cards are also issued for 60th and 70th wedding anniversaries so this department has now grown significantly. The Queen Mother reaching 102 resulted in the Queen delivering her card to Clarence House via (as was the custom) a special postman; the cards never use the normal post.
Incidentally, Barry stayed on after for tea and cake and to chat with members are they were so interested in his stories. It was a thoroughly enjoyable evening.