When Robbie met Royalty

Robbie Maiden pictured meeting the Queen back in 1977.
Robbie Maiden pictured meeting the Queen back in 1977.

A LIFEBOAT crewman who met The Queen 35 years ago has featured on a TV show recounting his Royal encounter.

Robbie Maiden was just 10 when he was given the grand task of greeting the monarch in Hartlepool.

Hartlepool RNLI coxswain Robbie Maiden

Hartlepool RNLI coxswain Robbie Maiden

Her Majesty had visited the town as part of her Silver Jubilee celebrations and was asked to visit the docks to name a new Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) lifeboat, The Scout.

Young Robbie was the son of the then RNLI coxswain and was picked to hand over a book charting the history of the Royal family’s involvement with the life-saving charity.

His close encounter with the leader of the Commonwealth was part of the Queen and I series that examined the excitement around the Queen’s tour of the country in 1977, and was shown in a documentary on ITV last night.

Robbie, 44, told the Hartlepool Mail: “I remember the week before, everyone was polishing the boats.

“Everything that could be painted was painted and all the brass was shining. You could see your face in everything.

“There was a lot of excitement and there were street parties and everyone was talking about it.

“I was just 10 so I can’t remember a great deal, but I knew it was a big deal. I remember the fact I was picked was mentioned in the school assembly.”

Robbie, who was at St Helen’s Primary School at the time, has followed in the footsteps of his dad, also called Robbie, by becoming coxswain of the town’s RNLI.

The dad of two from Bishop Cuthbert said: “It’s something I’ve always wanted to do since being a small child.

“I’ve been doing it for 28 years now, but I’ve always been around the boats since I was a small child. It’s part of the family.”

As well as giving up his time to lead a crew of selfless volunteers, Robbie also works as the lightside business development manager for JT Atkinsons while being dad to Robert, 17, and Holly, 14.