I met the Queen in 1977 in her silver jubilee tour of NZ. A group of four of us scouts had been chosen to stand at a camp fire cooking sausages on Caroline Bay Timaru. Several hundred scouts stood about ten metres behind us.
The Queen came along and stopped at our fire. She greeted us and spoke with us. One of our group asked if she would like a sausage. She held out her white-gloved hands, and declined.
Five minutes later, Prince Philip came along. We offered him a sausage as well. He looked around to see where the Queen was, and (looking as though he really wanted one), also declined.
The Queen was 50 years old in that February – March 1977 NZ tour. When I met her in Timaru that day, she was exactly the age (to the week) that I am today. (Being snow-stranded in Cheviot today I have the time to work these things out!)
Today I watched the Diamond Jubilee Service at St. Paul’s Cathedral. There are many positive comments I could make about that appropriate and dignified service, but I will save them for a later blog entry.
A highlight was Archbishop Rowan Williams’ sermon. He spoke powerfully about dedication. This is worth reading a couple of times.