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Celebrating the Queen’s Coronation: Audrey’s Story

Barnes Lodge resident, Audrey Price, was a young newlywed back in 1953, when her husband was awarded the honour of working at the Queen’s Official Coronation.

Audrey’s husband, Ted, was a civil servant at the time, winning the opportunity to work as a steward at the highly anticipated event. The pair, who met at the Mecano Dance Halls, had only been married for three years when he was given the exciting opportunity.

“I can remember he had to be at Westminster Abbey for 5am,” recalls 93-year-old Audrey, who now lives at Barnes Lodge in Tonbridge, “he had to wear a morning suit and the badge with the royal seal.

His job was to usher the public and the important guests to their seats and stands and when the procession started, he had a brilliant view of the Queen arriving at the Abbey.

“When the newly crowned Queen returned to Buckingham Palace, he came home to change and collect me, we attended a royal firework party at the Houses of Parliament. It was brilliant and a much-needed celebration after the war.

“I still remember all the local fire stations had their hoses out running along the embankment, displayed in the royal colours. The weather was terrible on the day, pouring with rain on and off, but the atmosphere was wonderful none the less. Everyone was having street parties which in the evening, turned into tea dances.”

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