Monday 13th November 2023 was one of the most surreal days of my long life.

We, my wife Mandi and I, met The King, Charles the Third at his home at Highgrove in Gloucestershire. How come you may ask?

Well, a good friend of ours rang us up some weeks ago and said The Prince’s Trust were organising a party and they wanted to invite people who were 75, who had done some good in the community.

Not sure how I came into this category but nominated I was, and to be honest forgot about it.

Two weeks ago we were notified we were invited to go to the party.

Off we trotted, best suit and all that, new dress for Mandi. We were not told whether the King would be there or not as there was a similar event in Scotland, and we were ushered in to a superb afternoon tea, and also met Jay Blades from the Repair Shop TV show, very nice man.

We had a choir singing and a piano playing and in walked the king. No announcement, no fanfare, he just strolled in and was given a cup of tea. We all stood as you do and were told to sit down. We were then called up a table at a time to meet the king, and we chatted with him, about age, ailments, and I asked him if he needed a fresh cuppa as that one had gone cold.

He talked to everyone, all the guests and was genuinely interested in what people had to say. We were an eclectic bunch, I was sat next to a vicar from Somerset and Mandi next to a man who ran a hardware shop.

The food and service were superb, and there was a cake for the king to cut, which he did while we all sang happy birthday.

He left as he had come, waved goodbye and sauntered off. All in all, a day to remember, and massive thanks to our friend Margaret for the nomination.