In January I received a very normal looking white envelope in the post – so normal in fact that the postman wrote on it to say he’d left a parcel for us. I opened it to find the most amazing letter I had ever received – the Lord Lieutenant had been asked by the Queen to request my presence at her Garden Party! The event would be held at Sandringham, to celebrate her Diamond Jubilee.
The letter said that I had been nominated because of my contribution to the community! I was beyond thrilled to get the invitation; but then I read the small print – the letter was not a guarantee of an invitation, it was a pre-invitation. I had to send my details, plus those of my guest (my Mum, of course) to the Lieutenant’s office and then I had to wait. I also couldn’t tell anybody either – that was the hardest part; but I didn’t want to tell people and not get an invite, so I kept my secret, despite feeling it on the tip of my tongue several times!
So I waited and I waited, then I waited some more. By April I was convinced that I wasn’t going to get an invite. In fact I even went on to Google and did a quick search to see if people were talking about their invites, so I’d know for sure I wasn’t going to get to go. I didn’t find anything, so I had a glimmer of hope.
Then I decided that I really, really wanted to go, so I just had to get an invite! I even booked an appointment with my hairdresser on the morning of the Garden Party – just in case! Then the next day a very, very exciting envelope arrived. It had my name printed in calligraphy and was franked with “From the Sandringham Estate” in red ink on the front and the Royal seal was embossed in red on the back – I was beyond excited!!!
Inside was this extremely beautiful invitation…
The invitation came with instructions, a list of timings for the day and a dress code. So began the preparations for a once in a lifetime event – literally you only get invited to one Garden Party at Sandringham!