Girlguiding Greater Manchester West
Girlguiding Greater Manchester West
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My day at Buckingham Palace

I saw an advert on Facebook to volunteer at the Queen’s Garden Party and thought it would be a wonderful opportunity. I fit the age bracket and I knew this chance wasn’t going to come around again any time soon. I talked to other people in guiding who said it would be amazing to represent Girlguiding anywhere, but at the palace that would be even better. Not many people can say they have been inside Buckingham Palace and had the chance to work there for the day. 

I went down to London on Monday night (the night before going to the palace). When I woke up the next day I was very excited but also nervous. I had to keep telling myself I am going to Buckingham Palace today!

I met the other 12 Leaders who were representing the North West at Euston station, and together we made our way across London to Guiding HQ (opposite the Palace). Here we met the other region who were being represented that day – Midlands. We finished getting ready and at 12:30 we were met by Patrick, the person assigned to us for the day. We were then escorted to the side gate of the palace where we had to go through security checks. Once those were out of the way we were taken into the palace itself. We went through the garden, through the grand hall and were taken to the staff quarters where lunch was provided. 

As we were eating lunch we were each given a £10 note from the palace as a thank you donation for helping for the day. After we finished lunch, we were given our duties – we were put into groups of two or three and sent to our stations. The jobs included; collecting tickets from guests, greeting guests and giving directions. Two lucky people got to be ‘bouncers’ on the entrance to the Royal tent where the Queen and the rest of the royal family had their afternoon tea. I was put on welcoming guests who came to the garden entrance – this was at the front of the palace where the tourists stand in front of the gates. 

After everyone had arrived we could go to the garden and mingle with the guests. We had some of the very posh finger food and drinks that were being served, and we talked to a few of the guests - some who had their own stories about guiding and some who had never heard of us. Everyone said they were pleased to see us there and wondered how we had been chosen. 

Once our time for mingling was up, we had to line the Grand Hall and say goodbye and thank you to the guests for coming. It took about an hour for the 7,000 guests to leave. Once they had all gone we were ushered to the side of the grand hall, where we were given a special thank you and a certificate. We then went back to get our bags and left the palace. This was when we took some group photos before heading back to Euston station and going our separate ways. 

Since coming back to Manchester I have framed my certificate and the £10 note. I like to think it was from the Queen, so I don’t want to spend it! 

Aisha is a leader at 1st Height Rainbows and a GMW County PR Adviser.

 

My day at Buckingham Palace Gallery

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