Appointment with royalty

PUBLISHED: 11:28 17 July 2008 | UPDATED: 15:02 25 August 2010

A CHARITY manager visited Buckingham Palace to mark a century since the organisation was granted Royal Charter by Edward VII.

A CHARITY manager visited Buckingham Palace to mark a century since the organisation was granted Royal Charter by Edward VII.

Manager of the Red Cross, in Court Yard, Eltham, Diane Parkins, and eight volunteers were invited to a Garden Party at the Palace to celebrate with 7,500 other workers last Wednesday.

The Red Cross workforce was not put off by the miserable weather and enjoyed an audience with Prince Charles and Camilla to commemorate the event.

Mrs Parkins said: "I was quite anxious at first but I relaxed and really began to like it after meeting the royals.

"Prince Charles was very open and friendly and we all enjoyed meeting him. We had a nice little conversation with them, mainly about how the Red Cross was doing and of course the wretched weather.

"I also met managers from other Red Cross branches across the country and enjoyed talking about what they've done and events they are planning.

"I'm pleased the Red Cross has got to 100 years, it's a really worthwhile and satisfying cause, especially when you talk to the volunteers and hear what they've done.

"Overall, I think it all went very well really, despite the rain. We all enjoyed it and it was a great and fun day."

Not only were the visitors treated to a posh meal with the royals, with a surprise visit from Princess Alexandra, but they also received 60 brand new Land Rovers.

Half of the vehicles will go abroad to help deal with natural disaster operations such as cyclones, floods and earthquakes and the rest will be spread across the UK for regional work including local flooding, off-road emergencies and public events.

The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement actually started 145 years ago, inspired by a Swiss businessman, Henry Dunant.

It now works with people in the UK, providing emergency services, first aid and refugee services while abroad the organisation gives aid and relief in disaster zones.

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