The Queen And I – part two

Back on June 10 I told you that one day back in time I had met The Queen and Prince Phillip, today I will share with you that very story….

For fourteen years I worked as Head of Communications for Gloucester City Council. During that time I was involved in major emergencies like the floods of 2007.

I helped organise major festivals and visits by well known not to say famous people.

By far the most important was a visit by Her Majesty the Queen to see the developments taking place in the city.

Although lasting only a few hours the pre-planning is months ahead and the level of detail leaves nothing to chance. From security to exactly who the Royals will meet along the chosen route.

My job was looking after the media who throng to these occasions in great numbers. For this I had to work closely with the Queen’s personal press secretary.

The chosen route is walked by the organisers and security personnel on a number of occasions. Our job as part of those sessions was to decide where the press were to be stationed to get their photos and which press would be part of the Rota Party and allowed to be with the Royals inside the various places they would visit.

On the day things went like clockwork.

The Royal party went into the arranged luncheon and we all sighed with relief that we could take a time out and prepare for the leaving session after the meal was finished.

It was at this stage that the Queen’s Press Secretary smiled brightly at me and said: “I have to go off and make sure everything is OK for their next visit. I’ll leave you to look after the rota party for the farewell sessions.”

Now, In all the walk throughs and planning that we did this had never been mentioned.

I was going to be in charge of the photographers and cameramen in a small room with the Royal Party and just a handful of dignitaries including The Mayor and the High Sheriff of Gloucestershire.

The Press Secretary informed the head of the security detail what she was doing and said: ‘I’m leaving the press people to Marcus to look after.’

Now this was some serious looking guy, built like a brick out house and dressed in an expensive suit with a virtually shaved head.

There was no suspicious bulge under his jacket – the suit was too well tailored for that. But during the whole visit his right hand never left his waistband level.

He gave me that sort of steely look that only those sort of guys can do and said the immortal words :
“ Who exactly are you?”

So that’s how I came to be in a small room with The Queen of England, the movers and shakers of Gloucester, armed police and members of The Press.

Apart from ‘the look’ I got from the Queen it all went well and we could breathe a sigh of relief as her car disappeared as she went on to her next visit.

Marcus shepherding the media pack as The Queen prepares to leave.
Marcus – on the extreme left – shepherding the media pack as The Queen prepares to leave.

For my part despite all of the detailed and meticulous pre-planning that had taken place over many months – come the day I found myself challenged by the unexpected.

And so it is with life.

The trick is rising up to meet those challenges.

Facing them regardless of how daunting they might seem. However bad our situations we have two clear choices.

The first is to let our situation dictate to us what the outcome will be.

The second is in making decisions about how we are going to deal with whatever predicament we are facing.

The choice is yours to make.

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