“I WAS A BIT nervous – but she was lovely,” said Jessica Fitch after the Queen agreed to pose for a picture with the seven-year-old – and her Brownie troop’s mascot Bertie the bear – at a Buckingham Palace party yesterday.
It was a departure from the usual protocol but the young girl decided to try the same trick with the Duchess of Cornwall and later with the Prince of Wales.
The Fitch family was attending the first day of the Coronation Festival in the grounds of Buckingham Palace. Later, stars from around the world took to the stage in the gardens for a gala performance.
Sitting in the royal box on either side of the monarch were the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall and nearby was Zara Phillips, who announced this week she is pregnant, the Earl and Countess of Wessex and the Duke of York and his daughter Princess Eugenie.
The Duchess of Cambridge’s family, the Middletons, were also invited – mother Carole, father Michael and sister Pippa and brother James.
The Fanfare Trumpeters from the Household Division opened the gala evening, followed by Dame Kiri Te Kanawa who sang the national anthem.
Compères for the night were BBC broadcaster Sophie Rayworth and choirmaster Gareth Malone, who described the Queen’s coronation as black and white images of the ceremony were played on giant screens.
A highlight was the performance of a moving song which producer Mike Batt wrote in tribute to the Queen, but also in memory of his mother who died a few weeks ago.