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Helpline adviser’s “very cool” trip to Buckingham Palace

Published: 31.05.16

An Adoption UK helpline adviser was “completely like wow!” when she received an invitation to the Queen’s Royal Garden Party, in recognition of her services to children and families.
Helpline adviser’s “very cool” trip to Buckingham Palace

Helen Griffiths, who also works as a training and office coordinator at Adoption UK’s Cardiff office, recalled how her two daughters, aged 28 and 26, were both keen to accompany her to the palace.

“They were both like ‘take me, take me!’, but it was a ‘plus-one’ so I took my 82 year-old mother instead,” Helen explained.

“My mother, Myfanwy, was very excited about seeing the Queen, especially as it’s her 90th birthday year. I wouldn’t describe myself as an ardent royalist but I do respect the Queen.”

Helen and Myfanwy took the train to London on 24th May and then shared a taxi to Buckingham Palace with other guests who she and her mother got talking to outside Paddington railway station.

“Everyone was so friendly and excited to be there and we were so lucky with the weather,” Helen said.

 “Once we were inside the palace grounds it was great because the tourists were all holding cameras in front of the gates and taking pictures,” she said.

Helen continued: “It was so surreal and very cool. I’ve been to London loads of times but going to an event like this was a unique occasion.”

Helen said the day’s ‘stand out moment’ came as 4pm approached when people starting moving across the lawn as they knew the Royal Family was due to arrive, and it was a “complete surprise and a great bonus” to see the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were among the supporting royals. 

“There was a buzz of excitement and the band started playing God Save the Queen as palace staff ushered the crowd into three channels for the Royals,” she said.

“As luck would have it, the Queen walked down our channel and my mum managed to wriggle to the front despite there being three or four people in front of us, so she had a good view!”

Helen added: “We both had a lovely time so I wish I could go again but once you’ve been, you don’t get another invite, so that’s it for me.”