Queen invites her Somerset fan to Trooping the Colour

13 June 2016

Jane with her invitation from the QueenSomerset royalist Jane Harding never misses the Trooping the Colour parade on television — but the 59-year-old from Bath got the shock of her life after being invited to the parade by Her Majesty the Queen herself.

Jane, who’s been a resident at the Leonard Cheshire Disability Greenhill service in Timsbury, Bath for 42 years, received her surprise invitation after writing to the Queen to wish her a happy birthday.

Jane also told the Queen her memories of meeting the charity’s founder, war hero Leonard Cheshire years ago, when he visited Greenhill.

Encouraged by Greenhill’s volunteer coordinator, Ann Birtwistle, Jane went on to say that, as it’s the Paralympics/Olympics this year and her own 60th birthday next year, she would love to celebrate by going to the Trooping the Colour, the official celebration of the Queen’s birthday, and would like to meet a royal marine musician.

The Queen replied inviting Jane to attend Trooping the Colour on 11 June and watch from the horse guards, a dream come true for Jane.

Jane thanked Ann for supporting her to write to the Queen, saying:

‘You’ve done me proud Ann; you’ve done something no one else has. I am really looking forward to seeing the Royal Marines.’

In fact, on the day Jane will get to see the 1,400 officers and men in the ceremony, 200 horses and 400 musicians from 10 bands at the Horse Guards Parade behind Whitehall.

Ann said:

‘It is my pleasure to assist clients like Jane. Greenhill House is a special place because of all who live there.

‘I regard it this way, if a person wants to do something it is my job to do my very best to make it happen for them.

‘This is just one example of what staff like myself are achieving on a daily basis.

‘This is more high profile because it involves our patron than perhaps some of the more ordinary requests like, I want to go to the shops to buy some clothes, but nonetheless where there is a need we provide.

‘I would like to congratulate all my distinguished colleagues at this service who also go the extra mile.’

Trooping the Colour, otherwise known as the Queen’s Birthday Parade, is where the Queen inspects soldiers from her personal troops, the Household Division.

This ceremony is believed to have taken place since Charles II’s reign, when in 1748 it was agreed there would be a parade to mark the monarch’s birthday.

Normal tickets for the public were allocated by ballot in March and cost £30 following applications made in writing before the end of February.

The BBC will be broadcasting the parade live from 10am on the day.

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Leonard Cheshire Disability is the UK’s largest voluntary sector provider of services for disabled people. Our services include high-quality care and community support together with innovative projects supporting disabled people into education, employment and entrepreneurship. Worldwide, our global alliance of Cheshire partners supports disabled people into education and employment, and works in more than 50 countries.