Poole Platinum Skies homeowners recall memories of the Queen ahead of Platinum Jubilee Homeowners in our two Poole communities have shared their memories of the Queen ahead of Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations. Elaine and Bill Deans, who live at Vista, were invited to one of the Queen’s garden parties Vista homeowners invited to a garden party at Buckingham Palace Elaine and Bill Deans, who live at Vista, were invited to a garden party at Buckingham Palace as thanks for their hard work as Voluntary Area Managers with Independent Age, a charity which supported people on low income or who experience isolation in later life. However, Bill also remembers meeting the late Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Phillip, during Bill’s footballing career. Elaine said: “Back in Bill’s youth, he used to play for Windsor and Eton Football Club, which the Duke of Edinburgh was a patron of the club, so sometimes the Duke of Edinburgh used to go down to the football club and enjoy a drink with the team.” Bill added: “He was very personable when I met him. He was a complete character, and so witty.” Elaine then turned her attention to talking about the day they got to see the Queen at her famous garden parties. She said: “When we got the call from our colleague at Independent Age to say ‘Would you like to go to the Queen’s garden party? I said ‘That would be nice.’ I didn’t fully realise what we had been asked. I hadn’t fully taken it in. “When you get to Buckingham Palace, the security team really scrutinise you and there’s two or three checkpoints to go through. Then you go under the archways of the building and through Buckingham Palace to get to the stairway down to the back garden. “They have got the Palace aids who go out into the crowds and ask who would be willing to speak to the Queen. Then I think they guide the Queen over to these people for her to talk to them and find out all about their work in the community. I think if we hadn’t had to sit down, we could have stood up and then maybe we would’ve been picked out to speak to the Queen. We moved over to where the crowd was and I got a picture of the Queen with the Duke behind her. We were very lucky to be there on a beautiful day.” Elaine and Bill said that the event was a huge operation for the Buckingham Palace staff and they remembered ice cream being served as part of the spread of food due to the hot weather. They also had a look around the gardens of the palace, which they said featured a host of different flowers in bloom. “We walked around the rose garden and it was amazing. It was fantastic to be able to walk around the gardens, and I don’t think people realise there are huge lakes as part of the garden.” “The day we went to Buckingham Palace, the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Phillip, was with the Queen. They walked around the gardens to talk to people and then they left promptly. We didn’t know at the time, but Prince Phillip had to go into hospital later that day. We got to the train station as we had to wait for our train, we went to this bar nearby and it was all over the TV that the Duke of Edinburgh was in hospital for a planned procedure.” Bill and Elaine have since been given the honorary title of Lifetime Presidents of Poole Waste Not, Want Not. The good cause works with a local food bank and other suppliers to help people experiencing financial hardship by providing them with donated food and drink. Afternoon tea with the Queen at Buckingham palace garden parties Another homeowner within our Poole communities was also invited to attend a Buckingham Palace garden party by the Not Forgotten Association. The charity works with wounded and disabled serving and ex-servicemen and women to improve their physical and mental wellbeing, while addressing isolation and loneliness, and promoting a sense of community and balance. Anthony said: “It was a wonderful day. What an amazing privilege it was to be there, and it was completely unexpected. I was so pleased to take my wife with me as well so that she could see the Queen in person. She asked me if she could go and speak to the Queen and I said that she couldn’t just walk up to her!” Anthony also remembers on another occasion, he organised a special event for ex-military veterans at Buckingham Palace which was attended by the late Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Phillip, which just happened to take place, unbeknown to Tony at the time, on the Duke’s 90th birthday. He said: “At the event, I asked the equerry how we should stand to greet the Duke of Edinburgh. He said that we should stand in a line because in his experience, he knew that the Duke would want to shake the hand of every person he meets. He didn’t want to miss anybody out, which I thought was amazing. “I told him that I organised the event and he said: ‘Well, I suppose somebody has got to do it. He was not even going to give me the credit for that. “We only found out on the day that it was his birthday. As we left the event and walked out of the big gates at Buckingham Palace, a whole cavalcade of cars came out with a police escort and went zooming down the Mall. I asked one of the police officers on the gate what it was for and he said that the Duke of Edinburgh had another function to attend. He said that the Duke was going to his fourth function of the day at 7pm. “So, on his 90th birthday, not only did he have the good grace to not say anything about it being his birthday, but he had other events to attend. The Royal Family’s time is never their own. They are always on duty. It shows just how dedicated and duty bound they are to the job.” Our Platinum Skies communities in Poole will be taking part in special events to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations including hosting a barbecue, garden party and enjoying live music. For more information about taking a tour of one of our Platinum Skies communities, speak to our team on 01202 040996.