Traditionally of course posh invitations land with a thud on the door mat. At Barrow Towers though we don’t do things the traditional way. Which is why on Friday morning as I was making doner kebabs (I know, I have no idea why either but it seemed like a good idea at the time and actually they were quite tasty, anyway I digress) there was a knock at the door. There generally is most mornings, with either the postman, the UPS man, the DHL man or the DPD man being to blame. We have a post box on the outside of our house as the dog eats anything that comes through the letterbox. If it won’t fit in the box, or needs a signature etc the postman has to knock, hence me seeing him every day. It happens so regularly that I am on first name terms with the postman and the DPD man (Dave and Arwyn, since you asked).
We get a lot of parcels and post so being handed a bundle of stuff by Dave is a regular occurrence. Except yesterday he then curtsied, and then bowed, handed me a pile and said “that’s for you Ma’am” and then stepped off the front step before curtseying again. I suspected he was having a funny five minutes until I looked at the pile he handed me and found the above envelope sitting on the top.
He then took the shine off a bit by saying “No 60 have had one too”.
I resisted the urge to steam it open and see what was inside. Wondering if I could then use Pritt to reseal it so Mr B wouldn’t know what I had done. I suspect Her Majesty doesn’t use Pritt though. She does however use second class postage I note. And a franking machine. How sad that she doesn’t lick the back of her own head.
Now you see my problem. You see the envelope contains an invitation to a garden party at Buckingham Palace. With the actual Queen. Okay I know we won’t get to meet the actual Queen as there are going to be 9000 other people there but this is actual properly posh and there are rules and etiquette and I have to wear a hat. And there will be security there with ear pieces and guns. I need to behave. And not be wondering if the actual Queen uses Pritt stick.
There is a leaflet with the invitation that tells you about security. And where to park. And what to wear. And that is the proper invitation that permits entry and is not the gold edged invite below that says “this card does not admit” on it. And over everything it says “guests are advised that photography is prohibited in the palace and garden. This includes the use of camera equipped mobile telephones which must be switched off”. It is in capitals, and bold, and is underlined. I almost expected it to have a line underneath saying “YES BARROW THAT MEANS YOU”.
The invitation has arrived thanks to my amazing in laws. Mr Barrow Sr (Hopalong) who got a BEM in the New Year’s Honour’s for services to hockey and the ever supportive Lady B have been invited as one is when one receives such an Honour. And one is permitted to bring a guest. Which would be us. Well that would be Mr B, I am not sure how on earth I made it on to this prestigious list but I am running with it and hoping the Lord Chamberlain is not commanded to mail me an “errr we cocked up” envelope.
I noticed there was nowhere to RSVP and Jonnie looked at me for a second and just said “It’s the Queen, mum, who turns down the Queen?”. Good point, son, good point.
It’s a thrill to be invited, and a real honour. And I am very touched that I am sharing this amazing day with James Barrow BEM and his lovely wife, and of course, my husband. A previous boss of mine was invited and remember the excitement around his day, and his daughter coming home from university to attend. The idea that I am now doing the same is all a bit shocking.
The added thrill to our day is that May 20th also happens to be Mr B’s birthday. His 50th. That’s going to be some story in years to come when we look back at how we celebrated Mr B’s half century
So I would like to take this opportunity to thank Her Majesty for throwing such a splendid birthday party
And maybe skip the Pritt question.