POIGNANT memories of her mother came flooding back for Linda Mayers when she chatted to the Queen at a star-studded occasion at Buckingham Palace.
Mrs Mayers, from Church Road, Barnton, was one of 300 people invited to an evening reception for representatives of the Irish community involved in the arts, sports and culture to mark their contribution to British life.
The event was staged ahead of a state visit to the UK by the president of Ireland, Michael D Higgins, and those attending included Niall Horan from One Direction, X-Factor judge Louis Walsh, singer Imelda May and boxer Barry McGuigan.
Mrs Mayers works for the Department for Communities and Local Government at Warrington as an office manager and executive assistant officer to a senior civil servant.
She has lived in Barnton for 22 years, having moved to England from Dundalk in County Louth, Ireland.
During the reception The Queen mingled with the guests, and Mrs Mayers told the monarch how proud her mother would have been of her invitation to Buckingham Palace.
“I told the Queen it was an honour and a pleasure to be invited to the Palace, and how my mother Sheila, who died two years ago, would have been the same age as the Queen,” said Mrs Mayers.
“It was quite emotional, and the Queen said my mother would have been very proud of me.
“To think you are talking one to one with the monarch of the country is unbelievable. It was an absolutely wonderful evening, and will go down as the first time there been an Irish reception at Buckingham Palace.”
Mrs Mayers’ department was asked to nominate members of staff with an Irish background or connections for the royal reception.
Mrs Mayers’ eight-year-old granddaughter Abigail was thrilled by news of her gran’s royal visit, and proudly showed off a copy of the official photograph to her classmates at St Bede’s Primary School in Weaverham, describing her gran’s meeting with the monarch as “awesome.”
“She was so proud when I told her, and said that she could not wait to tell her friends,” said Mrs Mayers.