First the Queen & now Will

Last updated 13:22 11/04/2014
Pam Seymour
Sven Herselman

Nelson women Pam Seymour, left, and Jeannette Gasquoine at Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre during the visit by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

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Seeing William and Kate during their visit to Blenheim was the second time that Nelson resident Pam Seymour has been in the presence of Windsor royalty.

She was among those chosen to be part of a special lunch with Queen Elizabeth II during her visit to Nelson in 1977. "You could be chosen if you were working with young people and I was teaching at NMIT [Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology]," Seymour said.

The lunch was held at the Rutherford Hotel, Nelson and she recalls it lasting around half an-hour. She unfortunately didn't get to speak to the queen, but it's an experience she will never forget.

"It was pretty special to be invited. And now to see her grandson and his wife is also wonderful," she said.

Her good friend Jeannette Gasquoine, also from Nelson, went along for the trip, with the pair deciding to avoid the crowds at Seymour Square and head straight for the aviation centre. The gamble paid off and the small crowd meant that viewing the royal couple was easy as they arrived, and while they looked at the outdoor displays.

"Catherine looked very nice, very elegant and William was a dashing prince as always," Gasquoine said.

They weren't the only Nelsonians at the aviation centre. Young Broadgreen Intermediate School pupil Mary Williams, 11, had found herself a plum spot up front against the railings. She had brought with her a letter from the queen as well as one from Sir Peter Jackson.

Jackson was at the centre giving the royal couple a tour of the aviation museum that houses his classic aeroplanes.

The letters were written in reply to those sent by Mary to the queen on her 85 birthday, and to Jackson after the release of the first Hobbit movie. "I wished the queen happy birthday and I wrote to Peter Jackson to tell him how much I loved his movie. It was great to get a reply to them," she said.

Mary had also got a front row spot at Seymour Square earlier in the day, and even though she didn't get a handshake from the duchess she was ecstatic to get so close.

"She is so beautiful and so friendly. I'm a big royal fan - they are awesome," Mary said.

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- The Marlborough Express

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