Paris Garden Party For The Queen Ambassadors Residence Paris

Jan Leeming

Shoreham 2007

Shoreham Airshow 2007
Me looking brave before taking to the air (and the wing) of the plane. Wow, it was cold !! But the whole experience was totally exhilarating.



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Computers and the internet are amazing things. One of my concerns with putting together this site was that it could remain current, yet with all my travelling I've often much to say, but little time to say it. Years ago when reading the news it would take me days on end to reply to the kind letters people sent. Now, with the magic of the modern age, I can keep you up to date with what I'm doing and other events in my life.

PARIS - GARDEN PARTY FOR THE QUEEN - Ambassador's Residence, Paris

Date: 5th June 2014

PARIS Reception in the British Ambassador’s Residence - On the occasion of the State Visit to the Republic of France by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and His Royal Highness The Prince Philllip, Duke of Edinburgh.

I was thrilled to receive an invitation to this event – a Garden Party in all but name. Am sure the invitation came because of my involvement with and documentary on the Free French pilot René Mouchotte and the presentation of his Battle of Britain Medals to the family at the Ambassador’s Residence in July 2012. So here I was almost two years later at the Residence again and attending such a splendid occasion. Someone told me it was ‘the hottest ticket in town’.

Thank goodness the weather was perfect because there was almost an hour of security queuing at the entrance to the Avenue Gabriel (the back entrance to the Residence) and then again at the actual entrance.

We had free movement around the grounds for over a half hour before Her Majesty arrived. We all had dots on our invitation cards and were asked to join the appropriate groups marked out by bunches of balloons. I was in a quandary because somehow I was on two lists – Media (yellow) and Military (green). Because of my involvement with René, the Allied Air Forces Museum at Elvington etc. and so forth, I now know or have met a large number of the military personnel both French and English. I decided that I’d probably not know the Media crowd making the assumption that they’d be mostly French so I stayed with the ‘Military Gang’.

I did have the pleasure of shaking hands with both the Queen and the Duke. The Queen really is quite amazing. She has the most beautiful skin and the loveliest of smiles which lights up her face. I doubt that I shall ever do anything again which would involve me in meeting the Royals so this Garden Party was extra special.

Not only do I admire the way the Queen and the Duke find a little something to say to most guests but I am in awe of the way the British Ambassador, Sir Peter Ricketts and his wife remember the names of the guests. I was told there were about 600 at the event and though they didn’t all get introduced, Sir Peter and his wife knew the names of all who did. Despite my 50 years in the Media and endless interviews which required remembering details etc. I am simply dreadful at remembering names – heaven knows why.

In the 1980’s when I was a BBC Newsreader I was lucky enough to be involved in various events at which I was introduced to the Queen –notably the Royal Variety Show in 1985 and a big Charity Event for Cruse at the Albert Hall. 

A shame that the photographer missed me shaking hands with her Majesty but at least this proves I was there.  If you'd like to see more photos of the occasion her website is - she takes gorgeous wedding photos.

PARIS - GARDEN PARTY FOR THE QUEEN - Ambassador's Residence, Paris

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