Picture gallery: The day Felsted pupils dined with the Queen
11:13 11 May 2014
© Katalin Karolyi. All rights reserved.
Preparations had been under way for weeks in anticipation of the royal couple’s arrival – but nothing could prevent the last minute butterflies on Tuesday morning.
All nerves were soon pushed to one side once The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh arrived thanks to their “personable, charming and friendly” nature.
Head boy Sam Seacombe and head girl Lydia Carrington had the chance to meet the monarch and her husband on the special day. They showed them around exhibitions at the school and joined them for lunch.
Lydia, who sat next to the Prince Philip, said: “I was very nervous to begin with but they are such nice people.
“The Duke of Edinburgh is such a charming man, his sense of humour was incredible and I immediately felt at ease. I thoroughly enjoyed his company and it is an experience I will never forget.”
As history was being made on Tuesday, it also seemed to be repeating itself as the event mirrored the Queen Mother’s visit to the school 50 years ago ... to mark its 400th anniversary.
It was quite notable for Felsted Preparatory pupil George Harvey, 13, whose father, Clive, was there to witness the occasion in 1964 when he studied at the school.
George told the Broadcast: “This is definitely a family school and my father has told me all these stories of when he was here. When we found out the Queen was coming it brought back all his memories from the Queen Mother’s visit.
“This is probably the most excited I have ever been.
“It just doesn’t seem real. She is the most powerful women in the world and I may get the chance to meet her.”
Before the Queen and Duke’s departure, they were presented with gifts including a leather-bound book of the school’s history presented by Lydia, a painting titled Carol Service Felsted School 1972 by David Plested, a former member of Common Room, plus a boot scraper – the same gift that was given to the Queen Mother during her visit.
Sam, 18, said: “I think she was touched by the gift. It has been an amazing day and I feel privileged to have been involved. Not many people can say they have dined with a reigning monarch.”