Twenty members of the Church Lads’ and Church Girls’ Brigade were invited to a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday 16th May to mark the 125th Anniversary of its founding.
I flew into London from Belfast on Tuesday 16th May with my wife, Stephanie, and met up with all the other invited Church Lads’ and Church Girls’ Brigade members for a group photograph before heading into Buckingham Palace for the Garden Party. It was special to walk through the front entrance of the Palace and then find oneself in the beautiful grounds beyond where two military bands played to the guests. At 4pm, Her Majesty the Queen arrived with several other members of the Royal Party – the Duke of Edinburgh, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Princess Anne, Prince Edward amongst others.
I was introduced to Princess Michael of Kent who asked about the kind of activities that were undertaken on a Brigade night. We also talked about how Belfast is a much-changed City. Then it was off to the Tea Tents for a variety of sandwiches and cakes. At the end of the proceedings, the Royal Party made their way back through the crowds to the Palace.
It was wonderful to be part of such an occasion. I must express my thanks to the Commanding Officer of the CLCGB in Northern Ireland for nominating me for a place and to the Brigade Council for accepting the nomination. This was a once in a lifetime experience and one that I will always cherish.
(Note … I was chosen for my many years of service to the CLCGB.)