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A right Royal affair!

by Sarah Khan-Bashir MBE, Partner, Shire Solicitors

I had a rather exciting week this week. As the chair of Mosaic Yorkshire, I was invited to celebrate HRH Prince Charles’ 70th birthday party at the gardens of Buckingham Palace on May 22nd.

Founded by HRH The Prince of Wales, Mosaic inspires young people from deprived communities to realize their talents and potential. Mosaic’s mentoring programs in schools and prisons are delivered by volunteers as local relatable role models and lift the aspirations of young people and close the gap between those aspirations and their attainment.The event was to thank those that work within his charities for their hard work and dedication over the years.

We arrived at Buckingham Palace at around 3.00pm and entered via one of the gardens gates around the side of the Palace. After we had cleared security we took a short walk through the beautifully maintained gardens up into the main garden which was effectively the garden directly behind the Palace.

The garden was filled people dressed up to the nines, all excited to be invited to this wonderful royal event. There were tables filled with lemonade and cucumber sandwiches, mini Victoria sponge cakes and so much more.

The band played a mix of old and favourite tunes and the sun was shining on this warm summer’s day. Suddenly the band stopped and began to play the National Anthem. We then saw Prince Harry, his brand-new wife Meghan, Prince Charles and Camilla come out of the Palace. They looked so happy and relaxed. HRH Prince Harry then presented a speech about his father. His words were full of love, admiration and joy, however being outdoors and the sun shining it was a classic recipe for a bumble bee attack!

Prince Harry‘s reaction to his flying visitor brought us all to laughter. Even Prince Charles couldn’t help but smile.

After the formalities the Royals then began their garden walkabout. We were privileged to be part of a group that was to be met by the Royals directly. We patiently waited for our turn. It was then time for us to meet HRH Prince Charles & his dear wife Camilla. After handshakes and a mini curtsey HRH Prince Charles began to discuss the positive impact Mosaic has had on thousands of young people.

His wife Camilla then went on to ask whether it was sunny in Bradford, I replied “Not as sunny as it is here Ma’am”.

As it was Ramadan the Prince gave the fasting guests a gift of a box of shortbread biscuits. What a lovely gesture. It isn’t every day you receive a gift from a Prince!

After the meet and greet we were then left to enjoy the gardens and the band and then when it all ended at 6.00pm we were asked to leave by the front of Buckingham Palace. Can you imagine what it was like to leave with all the thousands of tourists looking on. I couldn’t resist giving them all a little royal wave. All in all, it most certainly was a very British event and I am very proud to have been a part of it.

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