VIDEO: Nonagenarian crowned Queen of her own Buck Palace as guest at Platinum Jubilee tea party complete with ‘Royal Guards’ and a corgi

VIDEO: Nonagenarian crowned Queen of her own Buck Palace as guest at Platinum Jubilee tea party complete with ‘Royal Guards’ and a corgi

·4-min read
VIDEO: Nonagenarian crowned Queen of her own Buck Palace as guest at Platinum Jubilee tea party complete with ‘Royal Guards’ and a corgi

A nonagenarian was crowned Queen of her very own Buckingham Palace for the afternoon when she was a special guest at a royal tea party – complete with guards in full dress uniform and a celebrity corgi to mark the Platinum Jubilee.

At 98-years-old, widowed grandmother-of-three Kathleen Lewis, who can see Windsor Castle from the window of her nearby Berkshire care home, Mountbatten Grange, shares many memories with Queen Elizabeth II, as she celebrates 70 years on the throne.

So it was only fitting for her, as one of the home’s leading ladies, to be amongst the guests of honour when the cafe area was transformed to resemble Buckingham Palace, with staff dressed up as the Queen’s Guard, for a fun afternoon get together.

A former stay-at-home mum, Kathleen said of the secret party:  “I thought it was fantastic. It was quite a surprise.

“It definitely resembled Buckingham Palace – it had a great feeling to it.

“I think the Queen is fantastic, both in her younger years and later years. She is an exceptional lady.

“I am really excited for the Queen’s Jubilee – I think it is a great thing to be remembered. I also believe it is an important moment to celebrate because it’s a once in a lifetime occasion.”

The home was transformed into Buckingham Palace (Care UK/PA Real Life)
The home was transformed into Buckingham Palace (Care UK/PA Real Life)

She added: “I will be celebrating the Platinum Jubilee here at Mountbatten Grange, and joining in with all  the festivities we have planned.

“I always think it is nice to be able to get the opportunity to dress to impress.”

Eileen Coyle-Jones, 55, regional director at Care UK,  which runs the home, has been part of the team planning special events throughout the month of May to celebrate the Jubilee.

She said: “The tea party was a fantastic day for all our residents. There wasn’t one sad face all day.”

Before the transformation (Care UK/PA Real Life)
Before the transformation (Care UK/PA Real Life)

She added: “Seeing them dressed up, wearing all their favourite jewellery and seeing their faces light up was just amazing.

“And they were actually allowed to sit on the throne, which I don’t think you’re allowed to do in Buckingham Palace!”

A single mum-of-two, she has helped host daily events to celebrate the Queen’s life, with lots of garden parties, where families have been invited to join their resident loved ones for a natter.

Eileen (Care UK/PA Real Life)
Eileen (Care UK/PA Real Life)

She said: “We’ve been celebrating the Jubilee for weeks. We do ‘street parties’ in the gardens at the home, where families can come.

“The Queen has played a massive role in so many of our residents’ lives. So much has changed through the years, but she has always been a constant.

“We can just see Windsor Castle from here and some of our residents have even worked there.”

The team at Mountbatten Grange dressed as the Queen’s Guard (Care UK/PA Real Life)
The team at Mountbatten Grange dressed as the Queen’s Guard (Care UK/PA Real Life)

She added: “There is an awful lot of respect for the Queen and everything she represents.

“And you could see it in everyone’s faces on the day of the tea party. It made them really happy.

“We have people living with dementia who recognise the Queen and just looking at her brings back memories.”

Betty from Mountbatten Grange (Care UK/PA Real Life)
Betty from Mountbatten Grange (Care UK/PA Real Life)

And chef Mohamed Taghouti did his guests proud,  by providing a delicious  spread including Battenburg cake, Victoria sponge, sandwiches and scones to tuck into.

Eileen added: “Our residents really, really love cake. So they were chuffed to bits.”

She was also amazed by how animated residents became as they reminisced about the Queen and the things she had done for the country over the years.

The transformation (Care UK/PA Real Life)
The transformation (Care UK/PA Real Life)

She said: “Reminiscing is really good for them and especially for people living with dementia.

“Sparking these kind of special moments is so important for these people.

“Even when people’s speech goes, you can see in their expressions when something has had an impact.

“It’s tremendously important.”

Betty from Mountbatten Grange (Care UK/PA Real Life)
Betty from Mountbatten Grange (Care UK/PA Real Life)

One of the highlights of the afternoon was a guest appearance by Marcel Le Corgi, a professional pooch who goes to special events and was clearly at home trotting down the red carpet.

Wagging his tail and giving the residents a friendly bark, he was the star of the show – or not quite.

That honour was stolen by Kathleen and her chums.

She said: “I thought it was fantastic. It was quite a surprise!”

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