Stage stalwart Edith Harrison has enjoyed many fantastic occasions in her life.
But few matched the day she got to mix with royalty at a Buckingham Palace tea party.
The best thing was just walking through the front door of Buckingham Palace up the red carpet and being led in by the Beefeaters.Edith Harrison
The 79-year-old, who runs the Edith Harrison Performing Arts academy in Hartlepool, got the invitation after being involved in the town dance and stage scene since she was three.
She and her son Thomas David Harison, 54, attended the party where the royal presence included the Queen; Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh; the Prince of Wales Prince Charles; Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall; Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex; and Sophie, Countess of Wessex.
Edith reflected on “an absolutely fantastic day” and said: “I was pleased that I was so near the Queen. She gave me a nod as she went past.
“The best thing was just walking through the front door of Buckingham Palace up the red carpet and being led in by the Beefeaters.
“We got to look round the Palace and then out into the gardens which were wonderful.”
Either side of her, bands played music from the 40s and from the musicals and Edith loved “meeting so many nice people.”
Edith added: “It was a memorable experience.”
But there’s no time to rest for Edith as her academy is starting a three-night run of its new show.
The show called A Complete Package lasts from today until Friday, May 22.
Performances start at 7pm each evening and will last until around 9.30pm at the Town Hall Theatre in Raby Road.
Tickets are £8 for adults, £7 with concessions and for children.
Edith described it as “a variety show with song and dance - everything that belongs to the performing arts.”
Students aged from four upwards will be taking part in a cast of 52 people.
“Rehearsals have been going really well,” said Edith. “It’s a show which has everything in that you would see at a theatre.”
Anyone wanting tickets should either call in at the box office in Church Square, or contact (01429) 890000.