02/15/14 Postcards from Britain – The Queen

The Queen

Thursday, 25 March, 1975 at RAF Whittering, England.

The Queen was visiting Peterborough Cathedral on Maundy Thursday to hand out silver coins to the elderly. This photo was taken after the ceremony as she was leaving RAF Wittering by aircplane.

Uncle John* is opening the car door for the Queen and Prince Philip (the Queen’s husband).

 

Prince Philip

Uncle John says he was chosen because he was small and wouldn’t frighten the Queen – look at the size of that car! Uncle John was on his best behavior and didn’t even look directly at the Queen…

Do you know who he thinks is the funniest Royal? Princess Anne – the Queen’s daughter! Uncle John says a year later he opened Princess Anne’s car door for the whole day. At one point, Uncle John had to rush to the next stop to get there before Princess Anne. When the Princess Anne got out of her car, having just seen him at the previous stop, she looked at him and said, “Well, hello again Corporal.”

Coming from a Royal, this funny and quite a complement. And proves that acknowledgement goes a long way…

 

I hope you enjoyed this snippet of British life. And I hope Uncle John will let me share some more of his photo collection – I love the one of his father and grandfather ploughing with horses.

Do you have photos like these of your family? I would love to see them. My mum and aunt are currently documenting all of my grandmother’s photographs and I can’t wait to see what they find.

 

*Uncle John is one of my favorite people, although I’m not actually related to him… My Dad and Uncle John met when they were 15 and have been best mates ever since. Uncle John and my dad are both fraternal twins. They still like to stand next to each other and tell people they are twins (which is funny as my dad is a good foot taller than Uncle John).

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16 Comments

  1. Stephanie says:

    This is fascinating, Helen! I have an entire box of letters written back and forth between my great great grandparents that document their forbidden courtship- this is totally motivating me to pull them out again!

    1. curlybirds says:

      Oh yes Stephanie – do get them out – and share them with all of us! What a wonderful piece of family history. What year was it and why was their courtship forbidden?

      1. Stephanie says:

        We aren’t sure why to be quite honest, it wasn’t ever fully disclosed! Big mystery! We do suspect it may have been a religious issue because my g-g grandmother’s family were staunchly Catholic. Not much is really known about my g-g grandfather’s family. Even more interesting- all of the letters and postcards are written in code! It wasn’t a super hard one to crack, but I’ve been transcribing them on and off for ages. Most of the letters are from 1912.

  2. Oh, this is so fascinating! Thank you Uncle John for this fun snippet of British royalty!

    1. curlybirds says:

      Thank you, Terri!

  3. Yes please – can we see some more photos from Uncle John? It’s so interesting to see history through the eyes of people who were actually there. I love hearing people’s individual stories.

    1. curlybirds says:

      Yes! I love the snippets of information you get from family stories – and so much fun to listen to the whole story.

  4. Emma says:

    I bet he was so proud, and I love the Photos.
    My hubby is RAF and I am ex-RAF, he was lucky enough to meet the Queen and Prince Philip, he commented on how small she was, while Prince Philip was witty.
    I on the other hand met Princess Anne when I was in the RAF. The only reason I was chosen was the fact I was wearing my tie and jumper!!!
    It’s great how and why people in the military get chosen.

    1. curlybirds says:

      Thanks for your comment, Emma. My Dad is retired from the RAF too. Was Princess Anne funny when you met her?

  5. What a fun little story, Helen! I love how he was chosen because he “wouldn’t frighten the queen!” What great photos, too.

    1. curlybirds says:

      Thanks, Erica. I want to print the top picture out and put it in my living room to see how many people notice the Queen is there!

      1. Pat says:

        I suspect John is enjoying this moment of fame more than the first time round!

  6. I love that he was chosen for his size! I met Princess Margaret when I was 8. I was a Brownie and she was coming to open the centre where we met. She asked me how I’d earned each of the badges sewn on my arm. I remember her having a wry sense of humour!

  7. Leslie says:

    What a neat photo and neat story. Thanks so much for sharing!

  8. Jacquie says:

    Oh I love to see old photos, especially black and white ones! My grandmother was so wonderful to put together a grandparents album for me in the years before she passed away. She included a number of old photos and some wonderful stories. In fact, some of the stories were ones that my father had never heard her tell until we read the album together on Christmas. I think it’s so important to pass on these family treasures – thanks for sharing them with us!

  9. oh my goodness how did i miss this?? fabulous photos!!!! wow! so cool that your uncle shared these!! love the story as well :)

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Curly Birds is a blog devoted to children’s crafts and the art of play.

The blog is aptly named for my curly-haired twin girls.

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