A HARTLEPOOL official came face-to-face with Royalty – twice in the space of eight days.
John Megson, chairman of HMS Trincomalee Trust, was today reflecting on a never-to-be-forgotten period in which he first met the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, the Princess Royal and Tim Lawrence.
Mr Megson and the Trust’s president David Smith were at Trinity House in London for a dinner to mark the 90th birthday of the Duke of Edinburgh, who is also the patron of the HMS Trincomalee Trust.
Days later, he renewed acquaintances with the Princess Royal at another dinner held in Portsmouth, this time to mark 100 years of the National Museum of the Royal Navy to which the Trust is affiliated.
“It was an amazing eight days,” said Mr Megson, who recalled the conversations he had with Royalty.
“The Duke of Edinburgh reminded me that he had attended the launch of an exhibition at the Trincomalee.
“Then, Her Royal Highness the Princess Royal came across and I indicated to her that I would be having the pleasure of her company the next week. She said ‘I am at Portsmouth next week, Mr Megson’.
“I said ‘indeed you are’.
“Then, the Queen came across and she was delightful. She showed great interest in Trincomalee. The chairman of the Cutty Sark and I had a nice discussion with her about the projects, and he had an iPod app of the Cutty Sark which is three metres out of the water at the moment.”
Mr Megson said the Queen was asked if she would like to see the iPod app, and she replied “Indeed, I would.”
He added: “We then had a delightful dinner.”
Eight days later, Mr Megson and his partner Celia were among the guests at the dinner in Portsmouth.
He said: “There were 80 people there and the Princess Royal was in the group. She came across and remembered me from the previous week and she then got into a conversation with Celia.
“There were high-profile people there that night including a vice admiral retired from the US Navy who is in charge of the historic preservation of the US Navy including the oldest ship afloat, the USS Constitution.
“It was nice to be able to appreciate the iconic position in which Trincomalee is held with both Royalty and the Royal Navy.
“This was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”