Published: July 27, 2010
Royal honour for long-standing Burnham-On-Sea councillor

A long-standing Burnham-On-Sea councillor and his wife have returned from a 'very memorable' visit to the Queen's Royal Garden Party at Buckingham Palace where they met several famous faces, including former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

County Councillor Peter Burridge-Clayton, who represents Burnham North, told it was a "great honour" to receive the invitation.

"It was a very special day and I also had the pleasure of meeting and talking to Lady Thatcher," he said after receiving the invite due to his long-standing work as a town and district councillor.

Peter explained how the impromptu meeting with Lady Thatcher unfolded.

"We entered the palace and were astounded at the interior. The huge paintings on the walls were simply outstanding, and the ornaments - if you can call them that - just made you stop and admire the splendour. Much of the wood-carved coving was gold leaf and quite inspiring."

"As we passed through the palace into the gardens came the biggest shock. I could not believe there could be so much green and pleasant land in the heart of London and in the middle of such a built-up area. There were acres of lawn, gardens and a lake."

He added: "It was an extremely hot and sunny day, so the cold lemonade was a hit to start off the visit. There were two military brass bands playing throughout the afternoon for our entertainment and then, of course, there was the tea."

"There were cucumber sandwiches, as expected, and quite a variety of other things to choose from. One of the items I picked was a little chocolate cake which even had the Royal Crest embossed in gold on the top!"

"At around 4pm, Her Majesty and Prince Philip arrived and were presented to a number of people en route to the tea tent. It was over an hour before she reached the Royal tea tent, where she was met by many dignitaries and diplomats from throughout the world."

Peter added: "Many of these dignitaries were happy to mingle with us towards the end of the day. The Archbishop of York and Lady Thatcher were among those that were more than willing to stop and have a chat."

"All too soon, the afternoon had flown by and the Royal Family departed. The National Anthem was played at 6pm and we made our way back through the palace. This time we were allowed a little more time to browse as long as we stayed with our escorts."

"I am very much a Royalist and Joanna and I had a very enjoyable and memorable day," he said.


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