Smudged mascara and the Royals Smudged mascara and the Royals

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SMUDGED MASCARA AND THE ROYALS

The patron's lunch

It’s funny how things often happen very differently from how you might imagine them.

If I had ever thought about meeting a real princess, or at least thought about it since I was eight years old, I would have imagined hours in the salon, nice frock, heels I could barely stand (let alone walk) in.

But my real life experience was somewhat different.

We were invited along with hundreds of other charities and organisations to attend the Patron’s Lunch in London to celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday.

The team at St Katharine pier

We started the day by boat along the Thames from where Sailors’ Society began almost 200 years ago and Sky TV was on board to film. It started to rain then, but once the interviews were over it didn’t matter, right?

Wrong.

No umbrellas were allowed at the event so we were soaked by the time we got through security and to our tables. A visit to the portaloo showed smudged mascara and pancake flat hair, so I washed any remaining makeup off and shoved my sunglasses on top of my head to keep my hair off my face.

And then we were told the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge would be presented to us. Huge excitement took over, it didn’t cross my mind to think about anything else apart from the fact that we were going to meet Prince William and Kate and get a chance to tell them about our work.

They were lovely. Kate really listened as we told her about how we support seafarers and their families across the world and wanted to hear more about our work with children, building schools and providing boats and bikes to get them to class safely. She said this kind of work was ‘where her heart is’.

A live interview with the BBC followed and then reporters were stood by for some quotes. It was an amazing day for us.

In my vainest moments I think maybe it would have been better to have been in a frock and not look like I had just got out of the shower first thing in the morning.

But then I decide it actually couldn’t have been better – great company, great opportunity, great cause. The perfect day.

The patron's lunch