The Day I Met The Queen
On September 9th 2015 the Queen became Britain’s longest serving monarch – and I like to think she shares this reputation with me, as I am the longest serving employee of EuroTalk, having joined at the very beginning in the days when our only product was an interactive version of “Asterix the Gaul”.
My work here has even led me to her Majesty herself. In 2002 EuroTalk won the Queen’s Award for Enterprise and Innovation for the second time, so we were invited to send a deputation of three to Buckingham Palace to meet her. I was one of the three, along with Dick Howeson (our Chairman) and Peter Shoomakov, now Manager of the Production Department. It was also the very first day of the Congestion Charge in London, so after much discussion and aggravation we finally arrived by hired car, feeling very hot and bothered – not to mention worried about any protocol needing to be followed.
There were about 100 or so others and we were treated to a glass of wine and canapés before the Master of Ceremonies introduced us one by one. We had to form a line and present our invitation card to the MC, who handed it, with an introduction, to Her Majesty. She shook my hand and asked me what line of business EuroTalk is in, before handing it to Prince Philip for a further handshake.
I was impressed by the quality and youthfulness of the Queen’s skin. She looked so young and tiny against Prince Philip, who hadn’t aged quite so well.
When I started my reign at EuroTalk, because I could write shorthand, I was employed as secretary and personal assistant to Dick Howeson, our Chairman – a lovely man to work for. In addition to normal business life, he and I together showed our product at exhibitions, put the discs in jewel cases, added a small booklet at the front and a separate illustrated sheet at the back – an extremely fiddly job, I might add, which ended in very sore thumbs!
Since then I’ve created “bug reports”, done technical support, sold and demonstrated our resources into schools and other educational establishments, demonstrated at exhibitions and am currently running credit control, looking after our roof garden, and anything else required of me. These days I think my official designation is “General Dogsbody”. That’s what Dick tells me!