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The Queen

  • Waited on royally

    A fine Sunday afternoon in June which we were making the most of by cycling in Windsor Great Park to Saville Gardens. The day before had been Her Majesty the Queen’s 80th birthday, and the mood in her home town seemed particularly happy. Sunlight slanted through the trees as we pedalled up the gentle rise that leads from the town towards the Cumberland Lodge crossroads. Conditions were ideal for cyling: scarcely a breeze, the narrow roadways free of traffic aside from a few other cyclists and walkers.

    I was the first to the crossroads, getting there just as a dark coloured Daimler drew up at the turning to my right. We were due to go straight ahead, so I waited for the Daimler to give an indication which way it was heading. The driver was lost beneath a pale blue hat of the kind usually only seen on matronly women at weddings. Whilst the Daimler’s driver dithered I thought how small she must be to fit in the car complete with hat.

    For what seemed a minute or more the Daimler waited. Even on a fine day, this indecision was becoming irritating. Just as I thought of making hand signals of a kind not promoted by the Highway Code – or at the very least shouting something about old bats being unable to make up their minds – the car pulled into our turning and I saw that the driver was in fact the Queen.

    Protocol and tempers were preserved and we went on separate ways without further difficulty: can I please have my invitation to the garden party now?