Queen's Visit: Tremendous experience'

PUBLISHED: 10:16 23 November 2006 | UPDATED: 11:14 06 May 2010

The Queen is presented with a posy by Megan Levett before going on to officially open the new Mid Beds District Council offices

The Queen is presented with a posy by Megan Levett before going on to officially open the new Mid Beds District Council offices

THE Queen was greeted by well wishers waving Union Jack flags, including pupils from a primary school, when she arrived at council offices to officially open a new building. Wearing navy blue with a matching hat, Her Majesty was presented with a posy by e

THE Queen was greeted by well wishers waving Union Jack flags, including pupils from a primary school, when she arrived at council offices to officially open a new building.

Wearing navy blue with a matching hat, Her Majesty was presented with a posy by eight-year-old Megan Levett, a pupil at Shefford Lower School, Bloomfield Drive, Shefford, when she arrived at Mid Beds District Council offices, Monks Walk, Chicksands.

She was then taken on a tour of the building, speaking to people involved in various council projects and looking with interest at a range of display boards.

Alan Humphreys, chief executive of Aragon Housing Association, was lucky enough to meet Her Majesty.

He said: "I told her we provide affordable homes for those people who can't afford to buy on the open market. She said we certainly do need more affordable homes.

"She mentioned the fact that she is well aware of people having to have very big mortgages and she's aware of the issues regarding affordability."

David Bushman, representative for the Mid Beds branch of the Citizens' Advice Bureau, has been a volunteer for the organisation for 13 years and felt privileged to be introduced to the Queen.

He said: "It was a tremendous experience that will stay with me.

"I felt reassured the moment she got out of the car and the way she looked at the children. It was almost as if it was my mum walking in."

He added: "She asked me how the major issue of debt arose and she guessed it was the easy availability of credit, which it is of course. I gave her a couple of amusing stories and she laughed."

He concluded: "It was a very enjoyable experience and there were no negatives. She is absolutely amazing at her job."

Steve Whittaker, contract services manager for MBDC, said: "I spoke to her about how we are striving to minimise waste and recycle what we can.

"She latched on to the point I made about stopping supermarkets producing so much packaging. It's obviously something that she has an opinion on."

He added: "She is a charming woman."

Anne Sammé and David Lamb, team leaders in planning and development control at the council, also met Her Majesty.

Anne said: "We spoke about what it's like to work in an open plan office. I was nervous but it's much easier in the flesh than when we were rehearsing."

David said: "It was the rehearsals and the build up that was most nerve-wracking."

He added: "It was a real honour."

After a tour of the building, Her Majesty was joined by the Duke of Edinburgh for a lunch of salmon and quail eggs, followed by beef Wellington and finished with caramelised pear.

She then unveiled a plaque to officially open the building, before being whisked away to St John's Hospice in Moggerhanger.

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