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Sherborne Platinum Skies homeowners recall memories of the Queen ahead of Platinum Jubilee

Homeowners in our Sherborne community have shared their memories of the Queen ahead of next month’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

Canon Dr Alan Kerbey OBE meeting Her Majesty The Queen at Cambridge University
Canon Dr Alan Kerbey OBE meeting Her Majesty The Queen at Cambridge University

Memories of The Queen in her Platinum Jubilee year

Canon Dr Alan Kerbey OBE, who lives in Canon Woods Close, recalls a number of occasions when he has met members of the Royal family, including Her Majesty The Queen. In recognition of his work in medical research at Oxford University, and subsequently in education and work with young people, Alan was awarded an OBE in 2012 which he received from the Prince of Wales at an investiture at Buckingham Palace. Prior to this, he met the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh when he was involved in organising a Royal visit to Cambridge University to mark the 650th anniversary of the foundation of Trinity Hall in 1350, the university’s seventh-oldest college. Dr Kerbey had lunch with the Royal couple and escorted them on a tour of the College grounds.

Canon Woods Close, which is part of the Platinum Skies Sherborne community
Canon Woods Close, which is part of the Platinum Skies Sherborne community


He recalls: “It was a huge privilege to be involved not just in organising a Royal visit but spending time with the Queen and Prince Philip, and other distinguished guests, which included former Chancellor of the Exchequer, Lord Geoffrey Howe, astrophysicist, Professor Stephen Hawking, and former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Runcie.”

Meeting the Queen again

Three years ago, Alan was invited back to Buckingham Palace for a private tour by the Master of the Royal Household, a close friend. This was during a major programme of refurbishment that the Palace was undergoing.

Alan recalls: “It was fascinating to walk through rooms and along corridors, and see priceless works of art being carefully removed and taken away for safe storage.” He goes on: “It also happened to be the occasion of the Prince of Wales 70th birthday party and preparations were underway for a grand dinner in the ballroom that evening, which included the performance of a short play. It was slightly surreal to walk past Dame Judi Dench and Sir Kenneth Branagh as they were rehearsing!”

In his capacity as a Lay Canon and member of the Chapter of Wells Cathedral, Alan has also met Prince Edward and the Duke of Gloucester. Later this year, he is attending a dinner at Windsor Castle.

Nick McNally pictured on 14 December 1984, onboard HMS Britannia, while it was moored in the Thames, alongside the Tower of London


Nick McNally, who has just purchased an apartment within Mulberry House, has met the Queen and has dined with the late Queen Mother, Prince Charles, and the late Diana, Princess of Wales.

Nick joined the Navy in 1961 and worked his way up from a Shipwright Apprentice to becoming the Shipwright Officer of the Royal Yacht Britannia in 1982.

He said: “During my two years onboard I dined on board with Her Majesty on three occasions in the Royal Apartments and once in the Wardroom. On the first of the three times, I was sat next to Her Majesty on her left side at the table, opposite His Royal Highness, the late Duke of Edinburgh. My wife and I also had tea with HM The Queen in Buckingham Palace in 1983 and we attended two Buckingham Palace garden parties in 1983 and 1984. 

“We attended a third Royal Garden Party in Holyrood House in Edinburgh in 1990 when I was the Commanding Officer of HMS SCOTIA, which was Flag Officer Scotland and Northern Ireland’s HQ Unit of the Royal Navy Reserve, at that time. This was after I had retired from the Royal Navy and was a Lieutenant Commander of the Royal Navy Reserve.

Nick McNally’s photo of the Queen and the late Duke of Edinburgh


“I also dined with The Queen Mother twice on the yacht. The first time was on a trip for the 40th Anniversary of the D-Day landings when she was on board for the visit to the Normandy beaches and Caen, and secondly when she visited Venice in 1984.”

Nick went on to say that he explained some fun games to the Prince of Wales and his late wife, Princess Diana, which is a memory that he greatly treasures.

He finished his trip down memory lane by saying: “I am very proud to have served on board The Royal Yacht and to have had such close and trusted association with all the members of the Queen’s family and Household. I am also very honoured to have served our wonderful Queen and to have been a contributor to her and her family’s enjoyment and pleasure of being onboard their Yacht, where they could feel like normal people away from the prying eyes of the world’s media, and just relax.”

Jubilee celebrations at our Sherborne community

Our Sherborne Platinum Skies community will be taking part in special events to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations including hosting a 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.

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