The founder of a group which has raised about £60,000 in aid of Skegness Hospital has spent an afternoon in the company of the royal family at a Queen’s garden party.
Geoff Poulter, 74, campaign manager of Skegness Hospital Watch, was among the guests invited to attend the showpiece occasion at Buckingham Palace last Tuesday.
The Queen holds at least three garden parties at the palace each summer to reward and recognise public service.
Retired miner Geoff, who attended with his wife Joan, said: “It is something I would never have thought I was going to be part of.”
He said he was ‘definitely on a high’, likening the atmosphere to the thrill of ‘going to a cup match’.
The event saw Geoff and Joan come within yards - or in some cases feet - of members of the royal family, including The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, The Price of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall, who all circulated among the guests during the afternoon. As well as the palace’s grounds, the couple were able to walk through the building itself.
He said. “It’s overwhelming for someone who has never been before.”
The visit also took on a poignant tone for Geoff, who used it as an opportunity to honour a pledge he made to his late mother-in-law, Millie Langston.
Millie had hoped to be invited to Buckingham Palace if she reached the age of 100 and Geoff said he would take her.
Millie died, aged 89, but Geoff took a photo of her and her husband Eric with him to the garden party - coincidentally, in what would have been her 100th year.
He said: “I said ‘right Millie I have finally got you here’.”
Geoff also took the chance to show his generous side at the garden party, saving a cucumber sandwich for the doorman at the hotel where he was staying.
He said: “It made his day.”