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Herts county councillors recall memories of the Queen at special meeting

Sawbridgeworth's Herts county councillor has recalled how the Queen smiled as he toasted her with a mug of tea.

Cllr Eric Buckmaster was taking part in an extraordinary meeting of the authority at County Hall in Hertford on Thursday (Sept 15) to reflect upon and remember Elizabeth II's life and reign.

He said he had been lucky enough to attend a garden party at Buckingham Palace, but it was a brief encounter in 1977, at the end of his studies in Cardiff, that stuck in his memory.

Cllr Eric Buckmaster (59374277)
Cllr Eric Buckmaster (59374277)

He completed his degree in economics and politics at the University of Wales Institute of Science and Technology in the Queen's Silver Jubilee year.

He told fellow councillors that he was with a friend in the Welsh capital when they noticed Scouts and Guides cheering passing cars. As they settled down with a cuppa, the Queen passed by in a limousine and Cllr Buckmaster said she smiled as they raised their mugs in salute.

He said his own mother was two days older than Her Majesty and they belonged to a generation that had learned from the "dark days" of the Second World War.

Queen's jubilee events. Platinum. Queen Elizabeth II (59374304)
Queen's jubilee events. Platinum. Queen Elizabeth II (59374304)

"We feel such a great loss because we have also lost a huge connection to our past and perhaps we were unprepared for that," he said.

During Thursday's meeting, county council chairman Cllr Annie Brewster, leader Cllr Richard Roberts, political group leaders and members shared their memories, recounted their personal stories of meeting the Queen and paid tribute to the lifetime of service she gave to the nation.

Cllr Brewster said: "Today's extraordinary council meeting in memory of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II proved to be a surprise to us all to hear of so many wonderful personal experiences and, indeed, of the deep impact our late sovereign has had on all our lives."

Cllr Roberts said: "Last Thursday was a real shock. I was far more emotional at the Queen's passing than I had imagined and felt that a part of our national fabric had been torn away, diminishing our nation and our country. It was, and will be remembered as, a sad day and we won't forget where we were or what we were doing."

Herts County Council meeting for the Queen (59374259)
Herts County Council meeting for the Queen (59374259)

The recording of the meeting is available to watch at www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/watchmeetings. A copy will be sent to Buckingham Palace.

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