A FUND-RAISING couple from Alvechuch have looked back on their time at the May 2017 royal garden party with The Queen at Buckingham Palace.
Penny, 48, and Wayne Church, 51, were nominated by Bromsgrove MP Sajid Javid, after raising more than £181,000 for the Brain Tumour Research charity.
Their fund-raising has been carried out in memory of their son Fin who died from the disease when he was just 11 years old.
The couple also hosted a picnic in the park in June 2022, to honour of The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and to celebrate what would have been Fin’s 18th birthday.
Penny said: “I remember just feeling honoured and humbled to be invited to the garden party.
“It was a very exciting day from start to finish, seeing the behind the scenes of what it’s like to be part of the Royal family.
“We were all asked to line up along the walkway which a member of the Royal Family would parade down, so we didn’t know which family member we would see – we couldn’t believe it when we saw Her Majesty walking toward us along the walkway of greenest and most well-manicured grass.
“As she approached you could just feel you were in the presence of someone very special – she had a certain aura about her.
“It was so exciting to be the guest of the most famous person in the world.
“The event was incredibly special to us, not only to be in the presence of The Queen, but to be recognised for our fund-raising efforts, it felt like a sign from Fin.
“It also felt like the monarchy and the country cared about what we were doing and what we had achieved.”
Reflecting on The Queen’s passing, Penny added: “She was 96 and part of you hoped she would be around forever – to hear the news was really sad.
“I really feel for the family as well because when we lost Fin we were able to hide away and grieve but they were in the limelight and King Charles III had his new role to step into.
“I’m a strong believer that Fin is up there now looking down on us and The Queen will now be reunited with the Duke of Edinburgh.”
Penny was also selected to be one of The Queen’s Birmingham 2022 baton bearers which she said was also an amazing experience.
“It was such an emotional day. I don’t know whether it was because it felt like Fin was there with me or being part of this fantastic massive event.”
Fin, named a Child of Courage at the Pride of Birmingham Awards, died just 17 months after he was diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) – a very aggressive brain tumour.
Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer yet, historically, just one per cent of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease.
Visit braintumourresearch.org for more on the Brain Tumour Research charity.