PENARTH’S Hats4Heroes founder Tina Selby was given the chance to rub shoulders with royalty at Buckingham Palace last week.

Following on from her presentation of a British Empire Medal in April this year, Tina was invited to a Royal Garden Party in the grounds of Buckingham Palace last Tuesday, June 3.

Tina, of Grove Place, was rewarded with the BEM and invited to the garden party after sending out more than 13,000 knitted hats to soldiers serving overseas as part of the Hats4Heroes charity.

“With the invitations in our hands, my hair coiffured to within an inch of its life, hat made by Anastasia Beads in Penarth perfectly matching my outfit, we were ready to attend the Royal Garden party at Buckingham Palace,” said Tina.

“After queuing at the gates of Buckingham Palace for a short while, we were led through the palace to the garden at 3pm.

“The gardens were immaculate and they had brass bands playing in two corners of the garden.

“There were 8000 guests all mingling and taking advantage of the sunshine.”

During the garden party Tina was in close quarters with the Royal Family, and even managed to secure a seat in the front row with a view of the Queen.

At 4pm the brass band struck up the national anthem and the royal party descended the steps into the garden led by Her Majesty The Queen in a beautiful lemon outfit that was last worn at the Royal Wedding in 2011. The Royal Party consisted of The Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Charles, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Count and Countess of Wessex, Edward and Sophie, and Princess Alexandra.

“At this point the clouds gathered and the heavens started to open – we waited for the Queen to open her umbrella before we did as protocol dictates,” said Tina.

“The route to the Royal Tea Tent was lined by all the guests and we managed to get a front row position next to a Yeoman of The Guard with a lovely view of the Queen.

“Thankfully the rain only lasted for half an hour and once the Royal party had made their way to their tea tent we headed to the guest tea tent where we enjoyed the finger food which consisted of a selection of exquisite sandwiches, wraps and an assortment of small cakes. All the while the bands took it in turn and played on with a variety of music.

“Whilst the Royal party enjoyed their food we socialized with the other guests and then took up position to see the Royal party return to the palace. As the Queen passed by the band played the theme tune from James Bond which raised a smile from everyone.”