It’s a day that fourteen lucky ladies from Macosquin Women’s Institute will never forget.
Bedecked strikingly in First World War dress, the thrilled members turned heads as Her Majesty The Queen and his Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh visited Coleraine town centre last Wednesday morning.
Jenny Creelman, who lives just outside Coleraine and who has been a member of the Institute for 25 years, joined her colleagues in handing out little sprigs of Gypsophila bouquets to the crowds at the Diamond.
Jenny revealed: “We were asked if we would support the British Legion and that there may be a special dignatory coming.
“We didn’t know who it was at that stage. We asked if we could dress in period costume from 1914 onwards.
“So we are ‘Ladies of the Borough’ - and we have maids and a nurse maid, a governess and the ordinary ladies with their black skirts and white blouses.
“For the clothes we hunted wardrobes and everywhere else and we all happened to have something that would do and I had to borrow a fur - but it’s keeping my neck warm today!
“We are here to be a guard of honour for the Queen and also to hand out Gypsophila to the people in the street too.
“These beautiful flowers were provided by Jayne Morris who did all the flowers for the occasion in the Town Hall today.”
Jenny’s part in the proceedings was being closely watched by her daughter Victoria and her husband who live in Perth, Australia.
“We couldn’t tell them every detail - we had to just drip feed the information as we got it,” said Jenny.
“But when the Queen disclosed her itinerary we were allowed to reveal that we were going to be part of the occasion. It’s a tremendous honour for all of us. Our president, Georgina Henry is actually on holiday at a family wedding in Canada and she is gutted that she is not here but the rest of us are holding the banner for her and giving the WI a focal point as well - that’s it’s not all for fuddy duddies. It’s a once in a lifetime honour.
“We will be finishing off with vintage afternoon tea at Carnadoon B and B in Coleraine which is run by my mum Margaret Kerr.”