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Your Memories of our Queen

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II touched so many of our lives and many members of NACTSEW were fortunate enough to have met her or at least been very near her.  This page is dedicated to the precious memories we have of her and would like to share. 

David Brown, Chair. 

A personal memory clear in my mind is the wonderful occasion when the Queen and Prince Philip visited Gloucester during my year as Sheriff (2009/10).  Prior to HM Queen Elizabeth II inspecting the new college building I was honoured to be presented to Her Majesty, as was my wife (Cllr Joanne Brown, Sheriff 2022/23). 

The attached photograph captures our precious moment.  Following the inspection we had the huge privilege of sharing a meal and pleasant conversation with our Royal visitors.  It would, of course, be ‘indelicate’ to reveal the details of those private conversations!  However, I can say that both the Queen and Prince Philip had been well briefed and took a keen interest in comments made.  We felt a genuine warmth.

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Xena Dion, Sheriff of Poole 2015-2016. 

My memories are not half as personal as our Chair's.  I was 9 years old when Her Majesty visited Bournemouth and my mother took my sister and I to meet her as she came out of the Town Hall.  I was enthralled by her presence. 

Many years later I was very happy to have been a guest at one of her Garden Parties.  I was wearing a very brightly multi-coloured dress which caught her eye as she walked right past me. She looked at the dress then up at my face and smiled.  I felt so humbled. 

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Alex Black when Lord Mayor of Chester, welcomed her Majesty the Queen during her visit to the City on June 14th 2018.

Patrick Vaughan, Sheriff of Lincoln, 1996, meets the Queen as she officially opened Lincoln University in October of that year. 


Ian Emerson OBE, Sheriff of Lincoln 1990-1991. 

I met the Queen on several occasions principally as an official within the Commonwealth Games organisation. The most memorable are during the Commonwealth Games in Manchester in 2002 when I was the chairman of Commonwealth Games England, the host nation for the Games in Manchester, Melbourne in 2006 (see photo) and Glasgow in 2018. Those with good memories may remember the closing ceremony in Manchester where I was making the closing speech in the centre of the stadium when the heavens opened and my new light beige suit got darker and darker and I had to return in a very wet condition to my seat in the stand next to the Queen.


In Glasgow at the reception prior to the opening ceremony the Queen asked me what sport I was involved with and when I replied cycling she asked how the cyclists manged to stay upright on the steeply banked velodrome track.


The most important occasion was of course when I was awarded the honour of an Officer of the British Empire medal presented to me by the Queen at Buckingham Palace in 1994. This was for services to cycling, a sport I have been involved in for over 60 years. See photo of myself, my wife Sheila and our sons Nathan and Richard at Buckingham Palace.


We attended two garden parties at Buckingham Place and several more Commonwealth events where the Queen was present.

Robert Yardley, Sheriff of Lichfield 2016

I would like to share my memories and a few photographs. I have covered many Royal visits not only for the press, but for Staffordshire County Council. I have been lucky to have photographed HRH the Queen on three occasions. One was in Lichfield in 2011, where my friend, the late Allan Williamson (Lichfield Mercury chief photographer) was the pool photographer so got the best position. I was in a pen with the other press photographers, until we were relocated later.  Another time was when the Queen and Prince Philip came to County Buildings in Stafford. The other time was at tatenhill airfield, and was for SCC. My favourite shot was taken between the shoulders of the people introducing those in the receiving line, who kept blocking my shots. It was taken with a 400mm lens just as the Queen lifted her head and smiled at the person in the line.


Barrie Ferguson, Sheriff of York 2001-2001                                 




The Queen was invited by the Dean and Chapter of York Minister to celebrate the Millenium in a special service in the Minster. The City of York Council became involved and a programme for the day was developed.

As Sheriff I was part of the welcoming Party to greet the Queen at Micklegate Bar, one of the four gateways in to our Medieval City. It was here that an ancient ceremony took place relating to the allowing of a Monarch to enter the City. After being greeted by ‘Civic’ dignitaries the Queen was asked to place her hand on the City’s State Sword (1437) and after being re- sheaved the sword is inverted thus signifying the Queen may enter the City. The Queen entered the City through the gateway and greeted some citizens.

I was driven fairly rapidly to the Minster to arrive before the Royal Party where a service was held to commemorate the Millenium. After the Service a ‘walkabout’ took place from the steps of the West End of the Minster. I was assigned to escort the Duke whilst the Lord Mayor looked after the Queen. We were meant to take separate sides of the road which was naturally crowded with people but half way down the Duke suddenly decided to cross the road so both Queen and Duke were on the same side.

A Lunch was held in the Treasurer’s House (National Trust ) and then the Royal Party had 2 other engagements with young people mainly connected with Science and Innovation.

So a full and memorable day.


Sandra Rudd, Sheriff of Chester 2003-2004.

My husband Cllr Bob Rudd, currently Sheriff of Chester and still Chair of Cheshire West and Chester Council, hosted Her Majesty to lunch at Chester Town Hall on 14th June 2018. She sat next to my husband on our table of 6 and it was a tad bizarre toasting HM while stood directly opposite her. The visit was the first one undertaken by the Queen with Meghan Markle and also coincided with the first anniversary of the Grenfell Tower disaster, hence HM’s lime green coat and hat. There were camera crews from all over the world filming the minute’s silence we observed as we stood outside Chester’s new Storyhouse arts centre which she later officially opened. Truly, a day to remember.

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Photographs by Canon Alan Hughes and Susan Hughes

Canon Alan Hughes MBE had the honour of meeting Queen Elizabeth II on a number of occasions – including on a visit to his hometown of Berwick.


Click on the link below to read his memories of the late monarch and why he believes she had an affinity with Northumberland.  The Article is from The Northumbrian Magazine by Jane Hall

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