Anna and Sanu Gurung’s dream day at the Royal Garden Party on Tuesday, was made even better when the couple were singled out for a chat with Her Majesty The Queen.
The pair, who founded Perthshire charity Bring Back The Smile To Nepal following last year’s earthquake, were invited to the Queen’s Garden Party at Holyrood Palace this week. The once in a lifetime experience, however, was elevated to dream status when the Queen’s Equerry plucked Anna and Sanu from the 8,000 guests for the chance to meet Her Majesty in person.
“We were asked if we would like the opportunity to talk to Her Majesty”, explained Anna, “So we took our special place in the lines and waited. I was incredibly nervous!”
The guests take their places in “lines” and the Royal Family then leave the Royal Tent to meet the attendees. Her Royal Highness, Prince Philip, The Earl of Wessex and the Princess Royal were all at the Garden Party this year, as part of the Queen’s 90th Birthday celebrations. Also at the prestigious event were Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and TV personality Philip Scofield.
“When we spoke to Her Majesty”, Anna continued, “at first I thought I wouldn’t know what to say. She was lovely though. She seemed really interested in our charity and in Nepal. She asked all about the projects we’ve undertaken, how we raised money, our background and about Nepal. We found we had lots in common, as she affectionately told us about her time in the country, and we spoke about the difficulties in reaching some of the remote communities in the rural areas of Nepal. Her Royal Highness is obviously very proud of Prince Harry’s charity work in Nepal, as she told us enthusiastically about his time there.”
It soon became apparent to the gathering photographers and journalists that Her Royal Highness, Anna and Sanu were engaged in an unusually long conversation, with the Queen clearly enjoying their time together.
A photograph of the couple with the Queen was quickly issued to the media, by the Palace Press Office, and rapidly went viral. It showed Her Royal Highness looking lovely in vibrant lemon, chatting naturally and clearly enjoying the experience.
“The picture has already spread around the world”, Anna added, “It has appeared on Newspaper and News websites in the UK, Nepal and all around the globe already. We were interviewed by the Palace Press Office and telephoned by journalists in Nepal. By the time we left, the photograph had already been shared thousands of times!”
After the pleasant distraction of the Garden Party however, the work of the charity goes on. Anna is now heading to Nepal to continue the projects she started earlier this year.
“We are currently rebuilding an entire village called Archanbas, in Gorkha Province. I will be overseeing the work, as well as planning our next project. I know though, that everyone in Nepal will be asking me about meeting Her Royal Highness!”
More information on the charity’s work is available by visiting www.bringbackthesmiletonepal.org or via the charity’s facebook and twitter pages.