A few weeks ago, The Brownies celebrated their 100th birthday with a party at Buckingham Palace. The Countess of Wessex and daughter Lady Louise attended the celebration and one Brownie from Newport has spoken to me about her time at The Palace.
Millie Leadley is 9 years old and went to the party with her mother, Alexandra. Here is what they had to say about their Royal encounter….
Thanks for speaking to me Millie and Alex. What did you both do when you found out Millie was going to the Palace for the Brownies’s Birthday?
Millie: I screamed in excitement!
Alex: We couldn’t believe we had been selected. We had to re-read the email several times before it actually sank in!
Very exciting! How did Millie’s friends and pack react to the news?
Millie: They felt happy for me to go and they couldn’t wait until I came back to tell them what it was like to see Buckingham Palace and to meet Sophie, Countess of Wessex and Lady Louise.
What else did you do to celebrate the Brownie Birthday?
Millie: We decorated biscuits with crown sprinkles and drew pictures which Brown Owl [leader of a Brownie pack] has taken home and put on her wall.
What was it like to go to Buckingham Palace?
Millie: Awesome! I felt very excited – for my 8th birthday last year I asked if my grandmother would take me to do the tour around Buckingham Palace as my present – I like the Royal Family! So I knew how posh it is inside and outside – it is astonishing! To be able to go inside as an invited guest was a special memory.
The best part was going in the front gates when all of the tourists were watching and wondering how we were able to go inside! It was very weird being able to walk across the courtyard and see the balcony where William and Kate stood and waved to everyone on their wedding day. The cakes were also a favourite part of the day…especially the Brownie Birthday Cake which the Palace made for us.
Tell me more about your day…
Alex: Millie and I left for London on the train early in the morning of the 25th of June, and headed straight to Brownie HQ for our official photographs. Then, as it also happened to be my birthday, we treated ourselves to a very special ice cream at Fortnum and Masons before making our way back to the Palace for the official birthday celebrations to begin!
We queued outside the Palace with the other Brownies and their guardians waiting for the policemen to check our tickets. It was very exciting making our way through all of the tourists and actually being allowed through the big golden gates! Crossing the courtyard we looked up and saw the balcony where Kate and William waved to the nation – and at that moment probably realised how lucky we were to be among the few people that get to see Pall Mall from this side.
We were shown the way to the marquee on the lawn in the Palace gardens and offered a drink and told to enjoy the games that were laid out for us – giant Jenga, snakes and ladders, Connect-Four, tennis, badminton, table tennis and more that I can’t remember!
We were spoilt with lovely sandwiches and home-made cakes and of course, the very special birthday cake which Sophie cut with a little help from her Brownie friends.
After official photographs on the lawn with Buckingham Palace as our backdrop, our two hour visit had finally come to an end and it was time to leave and make our way home to Wales, having made new friends and with many happy memories that will last for a very long time.
What was it like to meet The Countess of Wessex and Lady Louise?
Millie: Great! They were both very friendly and happy and seemed delighted to see everyone. They joined in with the games on the lawn.
Alex: Sophie, Countess of Wessex, Lady Louise and the tennis player Laura Robson came and joined in the fun too, meeting all the Brownies and chatting to their guardians. Lady Louise was also wearing her Brownie uniform and has clearly enjoyed Brownies very much judging by all her badges!
Millie has eight badges including Brownie Holiday, Agility and Hostess, some of which Lady Louise is likely to have as well!
Pictures: (cropped and attached) first direct and Defence Images via photopin cc, and Alexandra Leadley.