We at Tanglewood extend our heartfelt sympathy to Her Majesty the Queen, and members of the royal family.
I have personally met the prince consort twice, the first time was when Julie and I were invited to a garden party at Buckingham Palace back in 1981.
More recently myself and Paul had the chance to actually talk to him – as part of a royal tour celebrating the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty the Queen she, along with the Duke of Edinburgh, visited the Krishna Avanti Primary School in Camrose Avenue, Edgware. The Shaw Trust charity were tasked with supplying plants for their garden area. Both Paul and I were working for the Shaw Trust charity at the time and we spent several days preparing the site.
It wasn’t as easy as it sounds because it was in March (2012), the area was enormous and trying to create a large flowering garden at that time of year does have its problems. We spent several weeks convincing various plants that it is really the middle of summer. We managed to that okay, but the ground itself was too cold to plant them so we left the plants in pots and carefully placed them in the flower beds and disguising the fact that they were actually only there temporarily.
On the day itself, whilst her majesty was shown around the school and meeting the staff and pupils, the Duke did a tour of the garden. He was introduced to Sheila Clements, manager of Shaw Trust in Harrow, and to Paul. He then came over to where me and the other Shaw Trust clients were and the very first thing he said to me was “I assume these plants are growing in pots”
That is typical of the man, he was very down to earth and despite the fact that he was in his 91st year at the time, there was no fooling him – he knew very well that there was no way these plants could be flowering at that time of year and in the position they were.
I thought I would recall this memory of a lovely man. We in Britain owe him a great debt of gratitude for the support he gave to our Monarch. In respect, I put my Union Jack at half mast in my front garden.