Sunday 17 December 2017

Elizabeth and Emma cherish Buckingham Palace memory

SOUTH WEXFORD businesswoman Emma Stay enjoyed an audience with the Queen recently, describing her time at Buckingham Palace as very memorable.

Emma's mother, Elizabeth Gordon, received an envelope in the post last month with the Royal seal on it inviting her to a reception with the Queen for her work as President of The Riding for the Disabled Association of Ireland.

Emma, of Kilmokea Gardens, said: 'Upon opening it she read the invitation and her heart sank as she really believed that she would not be able to go, due to five months of illness resulting in her requiring oxygen at all times. When she rang me to tell me of her invite my immediate reaction was "of course you must go and I will escort you there!"

'Now it was a busy time of year for us at Kilmokea Gardens as we were just about to open the Gardens for the season but I just knew that this visit would be such an important one for my mother.'

Emma arranged special assistance in the airport and a car to collect her and her 79-year-old mother from Heathrow, while an oxygen concentrator was sourced for Ms Gordon.

While staying at The Goring Hotel they met the Queen's Page, Brian Kinsella who had just featured in popular TV programme 'The Restaurant Man'.

Upon arriving at Buckingham Palace they were stopped by security but a female police officer made sure they got to the reception on time.

'There were 300 Irish people there. It was great because they weren't all the rich and famous. It was such a relaxed occasion and the Queen and the Duke were shaking hands with everyone. They shook our hands and they looked very interested in everyone and had huge smiles and they mingled their way through the reception.'

She said: 'We were offered beautiful canapés and champagne and fresh fruit juices by the Royal household who looked after us all so well. Princess Ann is the patron of The Riding for the Disabled Association and she requested to speak to my mother who has been involved in for 50 years. They exchanged stories about the organisation and she thanked Elizabeth for all her voluntary work over the years.'

Following the reception Mr Kinsella offered to push Ms Gordon all the way back to the hotel in her wheelchair.

'It was an incredible experience for her and an honour to see mum being thanked for her years of service,' Emma said.

New Ross Standard

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