It’s not everyday that you find out you have won a Queen’s Prize and it certainly isn’t everyday that you are invited to Sandringham to accept the award from Her Majesty The Queen.
Well for Fergus Pateman, aged 18, that is exactly what happened to him when he was awarded The Queen’s Prize for his outstanding A-Level results at Springwood High School in King’s Lynn and on a cold January day he found himself at Sandringham House, ready to collect his prize and have a chat with Her Majesty The Queen.
Here at Royal Central we were lucky enough to catch up with Fergus and ask him all about his meeting with The Queen.
Firstly we have to say congratulations on your recent Queen’s Prize win. How did you find out that you had won the award and how did you feel when you knew?
I received an email 2 months back from my head teacher at the time saying I had a very important person to meet and to keep the 4th of January free. I knew that the Queen’s Prize existed at Springwood, and I also knew that my good grades made me eligible to win it. I did however know that many other people got the same grades as me, so to get the email saying I’d won the prize was amazing. I felt shocked, and very excited to meet Her Majesty.
Were you surprised when you received the invite to Sandringham to accept your award?
I was not surprised as I knew the prize was to be presented at Sandringham. I also knew that The Queen would be presenting the award so I was also expecting the meeting with Her Majesty.
For our readers, could you explain why you were awarded The Queen’s Prize?
I was awarded the Queen’s Prize for the best A-Level results in my school last year. There were others with just as good grades, but I was told I won it due to my contributions to the school, both
musically, and with a bit of acting I did. I’m even more honoured to have won it considering other students did just as well as me.
Upon your arrival Sandringham, what were your first thoughts?
Upon arrival I began to feel very slight nerves. I wasn’t nervous beforehand, because I knew that Her Majesty would be an amazing and intriguing person to talk to. The nerves kicked in when we stepped out of the car and were greeted by the Page who took us in to the Ballroom. The nerves really hit me fully when I was about to go in to see Her Majesty, but as soon as she started talking I was relaxed as anything and we had a lovely chat.
You are very lucky to have met with The Queen. Could you describe your meeting with Her Majesty? What was it like? What did The Queen Say? How did you feel?
Meeting the Queen is something I will never forget. She has a sort of ‘Aura’ about her that instantly puts you at ease. She’s fantastically sharp-witted and clever, as well as very kind and a pleasure to talk to. We talked a bit about the weather (how very British!) and how chilly a morning it was. It was -3 degrees (Celsius) according to her. We then moved on and chatted about my future which she said sounded very interesting. The time flew by and it was over before it felt like we’d even begun. She was an absolute pleasure to talk to and made me feel completely at ease.
You weren’t alone on your trip to Sandringham. What was the experience like for those who accompanied you on your trip to The Queen’s Norfolk home?
My Mum said it was a “very special day to remember”. I know she enjoyed herself a lot and was proud of me. She shares feelings with me about how pleasurable it was to chat to Her Majesty.
After your trip to Sandringham and your chat with The Queen, which moments do you think will stick with you for a very long time?
This is a question which I cannot just pick one answer for, the entire day will stay with me forever.
Finally, winning The Queen’s Prize is a massive achievement. What are your plans for the future surely the future is bright?
I aim to study the Tonmeister course at the University of Surrey. The plan is then to go on into the audio industry and the media as a sound recordist, sound designer, or any career involving sound. It’s my absolute passion.
Royal Central would like to thank Fergus Pateman for taking the time to talk with us and wish him all the best for his future endeavours.