Fabian at Buckingham Palace Reception
Fabian meets the Queen
On Tuesday 15th March 2013, Fabian attended a reception at Buckingham Palace for back benchers, one of two events held during the middle of Parliament to enable attendance. For the first time in his parliamentary career Fabian met and talked to the Queen.
Fabian arrived at the palace on his new motor scooter, the only feasible mode of transport he had to get to his later commitment as easily as possible; a lecture at the Westminster Russia Forum (WRF) on Middle Eastern Affairs. Fabian was the only attendee to arrive at the palace courtyard in such a fashion and because of this it required some ingenuity to change from riding gear to more suitable attire.
The reception -including drinks and canapés, took place in the Long Gallery of the palace. Fabian was stunned at the collection of art that lined the walls of the gallery and was particularly amazed with the six paintings by Rubens and the two Canaletto's of London scenes that were on display. Fabian, along with the other attendees, was invited to stand in line to be officially presented to the Queen and Prince Philip. Fabian greeted and shook hands with them both.
After formal presentations the Queen circulated freely among her guests and the various groups that had formed in the room. The Queen approached Fabian and Angus MacNeil MP (SNP) and asked about the Earl of Harewood, his late father and of his family, that Fabian has come to know well. Harewood was formerly a part of the Leeds North East constituency. The Queen also asked about the production of the "soap opera" Emmerdale, which is filmed on the estate in a specially constructed film studio village. The Queen then continued to enquire whether there had been a fire storyline on the show a few years previously.
Fabian has been a long time admirer of the Queen and the unique British Monarchy whose work so powerfully underpins democracy in our country. He was most impressed by the Queen's stamina and interest at age 87 and especially considering the fact that she must have spoken to about a hundred people during the reception.
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