While thousands crowded into Market Square filled with jubilation at the visit of Her Majesty the Queen, hoping to catch a mere glimpse, three boys from Nottingham High School were waiting with bated breath to see the Royals up close. Ben Clewes, Christian Cummings and Andrew Poole, all of the Lower Sixth, were stood in Nottingham City Hall lining the route that Her Majesty would take prior to her famous balcony appearance.
Looking as smart as guardsmen, the boys represented each of the three Sections of the Combined Cadet Force as part of the group of young people, adult volunteers and veterans present inside the City Hall. The Queen passed within 2 metres of each of the boys, each of them visibly gained inches in height as Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge walked past smiling and nodding appreciation to those who were selected to be present.
Although not spoken to by the Royals, the boys received praise, thanks and compliments from Civic Dignitaries including the Lord Mayor.
Speaking after the event, the boys gave the following thoughts on the occasion.
Christian Cummings: “As a member of the Royal Navy section of the CCF for three years, it was an honour to be chosen to participate in the Queen's visit to Nottingham; a once in a lifetime opportunity. Being in such close proximity to The Queen and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge was an incredible experience, albeit a little nerve racking, and it will be one that I shall never forget”.
Ben Clewes: “It was a complete honour to be chosen for a truly once in a lifetime opportunity, it is an experience that I will remember without a doubt. Standing at the front of the Council House, in front of thousands of people waving Union Jack flags, gave me an incredible view of the whole event and allowed me to experience the euphoric atmosphere when the Queen arrived. It made me feel as though I was really part of something special”.
Andrew Poole: "I was proud to be chosen to represent the school and the wider community of Nottinghamshire cadets. This was an historic day that I am certain that none involved will ever forget."
Flt Lt Hayton, who was also present as part of the adult volunteers group commented, “The boys have outdone themselves today. Smart, proud and honoured to be chosen, they will remember this for a lifetime.”
Meanwhile, at Vernon Park in Basford, three of our Scouts (Jacob Longstaff - Year 8, Daniel Warrington - Year 9, and Eddie Meakin - Year 7) had been especially chosen to be amongst the fifty or so Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and Explorer Scouts from the City District to participate in the special events taking place at the park. They entertained the Royal party with various scouting activities such as rope making and tent making, and Eddie actually got to shake the Duchess of Cambridge's hand!
Jacob said of the occasion: "It was a royal experience I’ll never forget. Our future king stood so close to me!"