When Moneydig woman Patricia McQuillan stepped up to collect her MBE from The Queen last week, little did she think that she would be having a conversation with Her Royal Highness about Coleraine.
Patricia was honoured in The Queen’s New Year Honours list for her work in the rural community.
And last week, she travelled to Buckinham Palace with husband, MLA Adrian McQuillan, her son Adam and his girlfriend Dawn, to pick up her award.
It was a proud day for the McQuillan family: “It was amazing. Someone told me before I went that I would be treated like Royalty, and I certainly was, the whole day was amazing from start to finish.
“When we entered the Palace I was taken into a reception area and then into a drawing room where I met the rest of those getting honours. Adrian, Adam and Dawn were taken to a large Ball room where the honours would be given out. I was really nervous, but those getting awards all had that same nervous look on their faces - it was an unbelievable experience.”
When Tricia was called up to collect her accolade, sheexplained that she was from a ‘small place outside Coleraine’, the Queen recalled that she had been at a garden party at the University there.
“I replied that I had been there too, and she chuckled, “ explained Tricia. “She took time out to speak to everyone. She has a great memory, remembering Coleraine, given all the places around the world that she has visited, she’s a remarkable lady.”