A CAISTOR couple were honoured last week with a visit to Buckingham Palace for a summer garden party.
President of Caistor in Bloom Ernie Brown and his wife Jacquie admitted they were quite overwhelmed when they received the invitation back in February.
“When we opened the envelope and saw what was inside, it made us both cry,” said Ernie.
“Thousands had been there before me, thousands have received an invitation to the Royal garden party, but I was the first of our particular line of Browns ever to enter through those gold-trimmed gates and I felt honoured to be there.
“And as Jacquie and I walked across the Queen’s courtyard towards the Palace doors, my stomach churned for a moment and I began to feel a tear welling up inside once more.
“It was indeed quite an emotional experience.”
The Browns, who were invited in recognition of their “good works in the community”, joined with many other specially invited guests, who rubbed shoulders with a host of celebrities, as well as the royals.
Princes Philip, Charles and Edward were all in attendance, together with the Duchess of Cornwall, the Countess of Wessex and the Princess Royal.
“The Queen made her way down the steps of the terrace and across the lawns to the Royal enclosure, stopping and chatting to her subjects as she passed,” added Ernie.
“However, halfway along her path through the garden, the heavens opened and we were all treated to a right Royal soaking, but it didn’t really matter, nobody really minded, we were just all so happy to be there.”
For Ernie, of course, it was a chance to cast his professional eye over the royal garden too.
“There was a beautiful hydrangea; it didn’t have any perfume but the colour was astounding,” said Ernie
“It was bursting with flower and fresh new buds, all of them capable of re-use as thousands of cuttings, but would I dare pinch a cutting from the Palace gardens?. ‘Off with his head!’, I could hear the cry coming from the judges bench. ‘To the Tower with the scoundrel and don’t spare the horses!’”.