Eileen Barton

What I remember now I’m 99  

I remember that it was 2008 when I met the late Queen. Prior to the invite, people had their names put in a hat and it was luck of the draw. I still have the invitation to this day and I treasure it and keep it safe. 

On the day of the visit, I remember that it was very cold and that it had been snowing. All of us guests were transported down to London in a big coach and I wore a smart and suitable dress for the occasion.

Eileen 2

When the guests arrived, the police and security escorted all of us from the coach right up to the Palace. When we got inside, we were taken to a luxury room where the guests all stood in a line and then the late Queen and the late Duke of Edinburgh entered the room.  

The Duke walked down the other side of the big room, which meant that we got to meet the Queen in person as she walked down ours. I recall the Queen was very petite and very polite. The Queen asked me my name, where I lived and where I had worked.  

I was amazed when the Queen told me that she could recall her visit to the Leylands Estate in Derby many years before. Meeting the Queen on that day really was so exciting and a day I will never forget. 

The Queen visited the Leylands Estate on 28 March 1957, and we still have a commemorative book, the pen she signed the book with, her handkerchief and gloves.