Helen Pickford of Stone in Staffordshire was born on 2 June 1953 –the same day of Her Royal Majesty’s Coronation.
And in the same month The Queen celebrated her Platinum Jubilee in June 2022, Helen who has a fear of heights, raised almost £5,000 for Brain Tumour Research by taking on a skydive to remember her late-husband, John, on what would have been his 70th birthday.
Speaking warmly of occasions she was fortunate enough to be in the presence of The Queen, Helen said: “My father was a royalist through and through, he insisted my middle names should be Elizabeth, to honour the new Queen and Mary, for the late King’s mother. To this day I have never met anyone born on the same day.
“I was about eight years old before my mother admitted that the flag flying above the Town Hall in Newcastle-under-Lyme wasn’t just for my birthday as she’d always told me!
“I have seen the Queen in person at different events, but the most surreal was in the summer of 1973 when Her Majesty and the Duke of Edinburgh visited Newcastle as part of the Octocentenary Charter celebrations. My father, my sister and I joined the crowds in front of the Municipal Building to hear her make her speech. Dad had parked the car some distance from the town centre, so we had quite a walk back to it after her appearance on the balcony.
“As we waited to cross the A34 dual carriageway we noticed motorcycles approaching, travelling in formation. Realising they were outriders we stood in silent amazement as the beautiful maroon Rolls Royce with its glass roof glided past no more than two metres away from us. We gazed at the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, and they looked right back at us. Not another soul was in the vicinity. Why we didn’t wave I don’t know; I’m sure they would have waved back, but the fleeting encounter was over in the blink of an eye.”
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