It’s a day a Ballymoney couple will never forget - the day they meant the Queen!
Pamela and Dougie Long, who have a craft business stall at St George’s Market in Belfast, were excited enough when they were told Her Majesty was coming to have a look around.
However they got even more of a shock when the Queen came over to their stall, on an unscheduled stop, to ask about their ‘lovely wood’ and products.
And, what’s more, Her Majesty even took home one of their hand crafted pens made from the oak of a Bushmills whiskey barrel.
Speaking to the Times, Pamela from Finvoy Road in the town explained: “We have a craft business called Irish Wood and Wool.
“One of the various places we trade is St George’s Market in Belfast who had put on a special ‘Best of Belfast‘ market in honour of the Queen coming to Northern Ireland.
“When we arrived at the market on Tuesday morning a few stalls had been chosen for the Queen to stop at however we weren’t one but nonetheless we had our phone cameras flashing away for when she came past.
“But as she came close to our stall she saw the wooden goods on display and just made a beeline for it.
“She came over and said ‘look at the lovely wood’ and asked my husband if he makes all this himself. He told her he did and she asked him about the different kinds of wood he used. Star struck, he explained the various types of woods and the different products he made.
“She then touched one of our handmade bowls and said: ‘It’s lovely and smooth. It’s all very nice, well done‘.
“Walking away she gave my husband a massive smile, leaving him completely speechless. He looked at me as if to say did that really happen!
“We had smiles on our faces for the rest of the day. She is very small and delicate but exudes such warmth and was so friendly and genuinely interested in our products. We have taken the bowl that she touched off the market and are keeping it ourselves. However they did go home with one of our hand crafted pens made from the oak in a Bushmills whiskey barrel as part of a hamper presented to them by St George’s Market. It was an amazing day and one we will never forget.”