BEING no stranger to visiting Royal Palaces in connection with her work with Girlguiding in North Antrim and at Ulster level and with the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme in Ballymoney High School, a Ballymoney woman was prepared to take a visit to Buckingham Palace in her stride.
It was only when Elizabeth Campbell was actually in the Palace and her guests had left her to be seated for the investiture ceremony that the full enormity of the occasion actually hit home.
Having travelled to Buckingham Palce to receive her MBE from the Queen, Elizabeth Campbell told the Times: “On all previous occasions, I was there for others and celebrating their success with them, but now suddenly I myself was the centre of attention.”
Elizabeth was accompanied at the investiture at Buckingham Palace by her husband Leslie, her sister, Mrs Minnie McAllister and her sister-in-law Mrs Angela Campbell.
The Ballymoney High School teacher said: “The whole day from start to finish is one I shall never forget.
“Right from the first policeman who congratulated you as he checked your ID and invitation at the Palace gate through the briefing ceremony and the actual Investiture itself, when Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth pins on your medal and talks to you about your work.
“It was also worthy to note that on exiting the investiture room, several people take you through the next stages and one of these was a member of the armed forces from my home town of Maghera who attended school with my sister, Mrs Minnie McAllister, who was present as one of my guests.
“It was very special just to meet with others on the day also receiving various awards.
“They ranged from the famous to the ordinary like myself and I had the chance to chat with them about their work.
“Unfortunately, all too soon the day came to an end, and it was back to work where colleagues and pupils at Ballymoney High were waiting patiently to hear all about the day and to see my medal.”