The Day I Met The Queen © October
2010 Elizabeth Mills

My name is Ralph; you might have met me. If you go to the cinema or the theatre, it might have been me what took your ticket and tore it in half, then directed you to your seat.

I love my job, because sometimes I get to work backstage and meet the stars. I have worked in lots of places: the Odeon, Leicester Square; the Gaumont, Edinburgh; the Marina Theatre, Lowestoft; but the best one of all is the London Palladium. Oh, that is a grand place, with a lot of class. All the walls are covered with maroon flock wallpaper, and the pillars have golden angels. All the top acts have been to the Palladium: singers, actors, comedians, rock groups and dancers, and I have met quite a few of them.

Once a year, there is the biggest show of all, The Royal Variety Show. That is a very busy day, and all the staff are called in, including the volunteers like me. I like it specially, because I get to see Her Majesty The Queen really close. Of course, she doesn’t have a ticket to tear, but I always stand near to the door of the Royal Box, so I can see her arrive and leave. I love the Queen, she has a beautiful smile. The others at the home laugh at me, because I always get excited when she is coming, but I don’t care.

One year, I had to help the stage hands with some difficult props, so I wasn’t by the royal box when she arrived, or when she left, and I didn’t see her at all; I was very disappointed. When the show ended, I sat on a box and cried.

One of the stars saw me sitting there and asked me what was wrong. When I told him, he said not to worry, he could fix it for me to see her, but I must promise to keep it a secret.

I was so excited, as he led me through the passages and tunnels of the Palladium, that I didn’t realise where I was when we stopped behind a queue of people. My friend told me to stand up straight and look smart, and the next thing there was flashlights going off everywhere, and suddenly she was there, Her Majesty The Queen, shaking hands with my friend. The producer was with her, and a moment later, they was standing in front of me.

“And this is . . . er . . .” said the producer, staring at me in puzzlement.

“Ralph, ma’am,” I said, and she smiled as she held out her hand.