A BUILDER enjoyed a once-in-a-lifetime chance to dine with the Royal Family on Tuesday as part of the jubilee celebrations.
David Fensom, 64, from Northorpe, was invited to join about 700 people at The Diamond Jubilee Lunch at Westminster Hall in London because of his livery company connections as a member of the Tiler and Bricklayer Guild.
A livery company is a trade association in the City of London, with most crafts, trades or professions being represented by the 108 companies.
David said: “It was wonderful, absolutely fantastic. I felt so honoured to have been invited.
“It was a one-off, a day to remember forever. I can’t get over my luck at being asked to go.”
Before the Queen entered the hall the guests were all given a protocol lesson. Then the eight State Trumpeters sounded to herald the arrival of the Queen and the royal family.
Entertainment was provided by the National Children’s Orchestra of Great Britain, who David described as “awesome”.
The Royal Family had their lunch of salmon, followed by Welsh lamb, grilled Isle of Wight asparagus, Jersey Royal potatoes and chocolate delice, bread and butter pudding and berry compote with apple sauce, before splitting up and sitting around the hall with the guests.
David said: “It was wonderful because Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, came and sat about 8ft away from me on the table next to ours.
“My family and some friends were watching the BBC coverage on television. My daughter Kate, who was watching the images from Cyprus, said she thought she spotted the back of my head.”
When the dinner came to a close the Queen left to join the carriage procession in the 1902 State Landau.
David said: “The noise from the crowd cheering outside was amazing.”
Rather than fighting his way through the crowds to get to Buckingham Palace to watch the flypast, David made use of his VIP status, waving his invitation to get through the barriers onto the road.
Although he was back down to earth at work on Wednesday, his day was interrupted by envious friends calling him up to tell him how lucky he was to be chosen and hear about his adventure. David said: “It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I will have the memories forever.”