Bethan James, managing director of Compass Group business Payne & Gunter, reminisces about The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012.
Having worked for Payne & Gunter for 30 years, I have been involved with many events where Her Majesty has been in attendance, including state banquets which hosted commonwealth dignitaries from all over the world, as well as many official Royal openings.
At these events we have to follow a strict Palace Protocol, tailoring menus to fit stringent briefs with extremely tight time schedules.
For The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012, I was involved in an event at Windsor, with my team and I featured in the ITV television coverage, which was certainly a highlight!
But my fondest memory of looking after HRH The Queen however, was during the Afghanistan Veterans Tribute Event on Horseguards Parade. We were involved in preparing and serving a picnic lunch for 2500 invited guests with the Senior Royal family in attendance.
I was asked by our main client to look after the Senior Royal family before The Queen departed to unveil the memorial plaque. Whilst my team were running around looking after the 2500 guests, I was on hand to offer refreshments and canapes to the Royal party.
It was a moment in time I will never forget, as the Senior Royals were happily chatting as families do, whilst waiting to go out and greet their guests – a real pinch me moment!