Cucumber sandwiches, the Queen and an unpaid bill - the adventures of Friends of Forget Me Not, Gina and Brenda at Holyroodhouse!
Gina and Brenda, of Friends of Forget Me Not fame, are two of our longest-standing supporters. From the early years of campaigning and raising money to build Russell House to today when their hugely successful annual events continue to raise thousands for the charity, they are the magic thread that connects us to our beginnings and reminds us why we’re all here - should we need reminding!
So it was fitting that they represented Forget Me Not at the Queen’s Garden Party at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh on 3rd July.
“It was an awesome experience from start to finish,” Gina said. “From the minute we received the official invitation - complete with Palace insignia - to strolling down the Royal Mile in Edinburgh towards Holyroodhouse in all our finery, it was truly magical!
The garden at Holyroodhouse is beautiful, set against the backdrop of Arthurs Seat. A band played the National Anthem to announce the arrival of the royal party made up of the Queen, Princess Anne and Princes Andrew and Edward and other officials. Some of the guests were to be presented to members of the Royal family, which gave us an up close and personal view of the Queen as a couple next to us were introduced to her. Then it was tea and cucumber sandwiches with scones and icecream too!”
For Brenda, “the highlight of the day for me had to be that we were so close to the Queen, just an arms length away! I also enjoyed having a chat with the Royal Housekeeper and her assistant – I asked them what happened to all the crusts when making sandwiches for over 7,000 people (being the practical one that I am!). Turns out nothing goes to waste!
It was such a privilege to represent the charity and we met some amazing people. It was certainly a day to remember.”
But despite spending the day in such worthy and high circles, Gina and Brenda found themselves in hot water after the party! “It was getting rather late,” said Gina, “so instead of going back to our hotel to change before dinner, we decided to stop off at a restaurant on the way. It was only when we’d finished eating that we realised neither of us had enough money to cover the bill! The tiny handbags we’d taken to the party were not the sort to hold a proper purse! I was ready to nip up to the hotel to grab the cash required to make up the difference, but the restaurant wouldn’t hear of it and very kindly said, ‘it’s on us!’”
We’re delighted Gina and Brenda had such a wonderful day and really glad they didn’t end it by having to don rubber gloves to wash the restaurant’s dishes!