This little Coronation throne is a childhood treasure of mine, a gift from my Grandmother. I always liked the lions feet and think that she must have made that little red velvet cushion for it . Like many around the world , we will get to see the real thing next Saturday at the Coronation.
I unexpectedly found myself making tea for King Charles, then Prince Charles in the late 1970’s, when I was an art student at Gloucestershire College of Art and Design, at Cheltenham. The College Campus wasn’t far from the race course , and the student tradition of being perpetually hard up applied.
On this occasion I had managed to get hired by the Jockey club as a waitress, at Cheltenham Festival, as for some time I had been supplementing my student income by working in hotels, evenings and weekends .
That cold March Gold Cup morning, my uniform was opaque tights, black shoes and skirt, a white shirt and a small white lace apron . I had walked up there early that morning from my digs in town, and arrived well before any visitors. Inside the marquee it was grass underfoot and a hive of activity, tables and chairs were being manhandled into rows, table tops then covered with pressed white linen tablecloths and adorned with little flower arrangements to welcome our VIP’s . Large tv monitors had been set up strategically so that guests didn’t have to leave the comfort of their food and convivial company to watch the racing . As the morning went on, all the tables filled up , the noise of people enjoying themselves increased and I kept my head down providing food and drink.
It was later that day in March , King Charles and his guests were shown to their table , he had chosen prawn salad for lunch, and asked for a pot of tea …… and suddenly …this became my job!
Taking a deep breath , I put out china, a pot of sugar lumps, a jug of fresh milk , and finally I delivered a very large pot of piping hot tea. After the thank you’s , that was it …..I went back to the other Jockey Club guests, and before you knew it my day was over. By then most of the patrons were leaving and pretty merry, my feet were throbbing and I was ready for a cup of tea at home !
Whatever you have planned for this week, have a great Bank Holiday …… God save the King!