A Lancaster man enjoyed afternoon tea with the Queen in recognition of his selfless service to the community.
Den Bray of Watery Lane, Scale Hall, was invited to the Buckingham Palace Garden Party last week after being nominated by the Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire, Lord Shuttleworth, for the work he does for local charity groups and organisations.
Den said: “When I received the invitation it was in a boring, non-descript brown envelope and at first glance it looked like a speeding fine!”
Far from being a summons to court, enclosed was a request for Den to rub shoulders with Royalty at an annual event which recognises outstanding public service.
Den has been a volunteer at Lancaster charity CancerCare since 1992, during which time he also set up the Bay Prostate Cancer Support Group. He is also a member of the Friends of Ryelands Park.
Den travelled to London with his wife Judith and at the party they saw numerous Royals including the Queen, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie and the Duke of Kent. He was also treated to an impromptu chat with the Duke of Sussex.
Den said: “We were waiting in a line when all of a sudden a figure appeared next to me and said he liked my watch. I was amazed to see it was Prince Harry!
“He noticed my watch as it is a special Help the Heroes one and he does a lot of work for ex-service people. We talked for quite a while as our son and daughter were in the forces and he was very interested.
“It was one of the best days of my life. When you volunteer, you don’t do it to be rewarded but it was lovely to be recognised at such an occasion.”