IT was a right royal delivery last week for the pupils of Garryduff Primary School when they received a letter from the Queen.
The correspondence from Buckingham Palace was in response to a request sent by the P6/P7 pupils inviting her Majesty to pay the school a visit during her Jubilee Celebrations to coincide with their literacy topic and the opening of their school extension in May.
Teacher Karen Heggarty explained: “Last term, around June, the children did a topic on the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the Olympic celebrations. As part of this 18 pupils each wrote a letter to the Queen congratulating her on reaching her Diamond Jubilee. As we’d recently opened a new extension the children also asked her if she ever came to Northern Ireland to call into the school and see their new building.
“The children also wrote personal messages asking questions about her corgis, saying that they had seen her on television and that they had seen her on a picture in Ballymoney train station from the last time she came to the Borough.”
Not expecting the hear anything back, the pupils and Ms Hegarty were all shocked when last week a personal letter came through the post with the ‘royal stamp of approval’.
Although declining the invitation due to a prior engagement, the Queen’s Lady in Waiting, Phillippa, wrote back.
Karen explained: “We just couldn’t believe it. The letter was personally written from her Lady in Waiting and said the Queen was delighted to see the letters from Garryduff pupils and had asked her to write back to say thank you.
“She explained that the Queen was very busy due to her Jubilee schedule however had been overwhelmed with the thousands of goodwill messages. The letter also included an A4 card complete with six pictures of the Queen during her 60 year reign over the decades. It also featured a personal message from the Queen stating: ‘I send you my grateful thanks for the words of loyalty and support’.
“It really did make everyone’s day and something both myself and the children will remember.”