Questions about MS? Call us on 0808 800 8000
Cartoon shows a group of people at the Queen's Garden party. A short lady is standing on Anne's wheelchair to get a better view.

Life wi the Broons: Heels, wheels and the Queen's Garden Party

Anne Brown

‘You’ve been picked,’ she said. Well, I’m no gonny tell you a’ the rest o’ it, but turns oot I wis picked as the volunteer fae the MS Society in Scotland tae go tae the Royal Garden Party at Holyrood Palace! Ma gob wis well and trully smacked tae say the least.

It wisny sae much the event itsel that wis the honour, but that they picked me among a’ the volunteers tae go.

Then I thought “what on earth am I gonny wear?” The invite said a day dress and hat. Me? In a hat? Oh well, better start lookin then.

Hooray for online shoppin! The frock, hat an jacket wis soon on order an turned oot tae be just the job. The shoes and bag were easy, I hud them already. I knew there wis nae way I’d be able tae stay upright fur the length o’ time needed so I’d huv tae take the powered wheelchair. We got a powered one because I totally hate bein shoved. I’ll choose where I go, thank you very much, no be at somebody else’s mercy!

Anyway, the good thing was, if I wis takin wheels it meant I could wear heels. My only pair of ‘lookin at shoes.’ I canny walk the length o’ masel in them, they’re jist fur ‘lookin at.’

That’s me sorted then, what aboot the poor long sufferin hubby? That wis easy, his trusty kilt came oot, sorted!

Ma hairdresser said she’d dae ma hair that mornin tae suit ma outfit, so I was primped and preened tae within an inch o’ ma life and pinned intae ma fascinator at the back o’ nine in the mornin. This wis fine but meant I hud tae go aboot a’ day wi jeans, top and fascinator till leaving at half past one. Braw! Hubby dropped the dugs off at elder daughter’s house and we got intae oor finery tae meet the Queen.

I wis ready fur it tae be a bit of an ordeal but it turned oot tae be a great afternoon. We met some lovely folk and hud a few guid wee blethers. Food and drink wis plentiful although you cud huv fitted a wee cucumber piece in your eye! We waited in a crescent tae see the Queen and Prince Philip go by, so that’s the only time I stood up. There were folk in front o’ me but a big tall man invited me in front o’ him as he could easy see ower ma heid, hat an a’.

Then we heard a wee wumman behind us, gettin in a right state as a’ she wanted tae dae was ‘get jist wan wee glimpse o’ the Queen,’ she jumped up an doon, tryin tae get that wee glimpse but it jist wisny happenin. She wis jist too wee. We found a solution fur her, ‘Stand on the seat o’ my wheelchair’, I offered. Well, she wisny keen at first but her longin tae see the Queen wis too much so she took aff her shoes and Hubby helped her up tae see.

‘I see her!’ she said ‘I’ve done it, I’ve seen the Queen, Oh, she’s braw!’ Everybody around was chuffed tae bits fur her, but she didny want tae get intae touble so kept bobbin up and doon getin another wee glimpse and passin the info back tae her pals aboot what wis happenin. Once the Queen went by, she got doon and thanked me fur makin her day.

We’d been told that all camera phones hud tae be switched off at the event so we’d left oors in the car. Well, once the Queen wis away it wis like Iphones r us. Everybody wis takin photies willy nilly, against the rules. If we’d have brought oors tho’ I’d huv been dain exactly the same.

Seein the Queen was lovely but it wis the folk that we met that made it a very special day, and a memory I’d never have thought I’d huv!

Illustration by our wonderful volunteer, Elfreda Crehan.