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Grantham lockdown hero attends Buckingham Palace garden party with Prince Charles and Camilla in attendance



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A local lockdown hero visited Buckingham Palace for a royal garden party as a reward for her work in the community.

Penny Bond BEM, of Grantham, attended the Buckingham Palace Garden Party yesterday (Wednesday) with her sister, Haley Silverman, with the pair enjoying a walk around the gardens and some afternoon tea.

Penny, a London North Eastern Railway Reserve and volunteer, founded the ‘Letter to a Friend’ initiative in April 2020, which sent various forms of mail to care home residents who had been cut off from family members by the pandemic.

The visitors lined up as the royals came out to great guests. (56639941)
The visitors lined up as the royals came out to great guests. (56639941)

Her trip to the palace comes after receiving a place in the Queen’s Honours List, receiving a British Empire Medal for her services during the pandemic, as well as a visit to the Wimbledon Royal Box last summer.

Penny said: "The day was marvellous, we were there from 3pm to 6pm. We entered the gardens to the band playing the theme from Star Wars, which we laughed about as this afternoon was a galaxy away from our usual day to day activities.

"We had a walk around the palace gardens, and then headed to the tent for afternoon tea, I don't think I have eaten that many cakes in one go before, but while you're there you can't not try each and every one.

Penny Bond (right) and sister Haley Silverman at Buckingham Palace. (56639929)
Penny Bond (right) and sister Haley Silverman at Buckingham Palace. (56639929)

"They were amazing, cakes like no other, finger cut sandwiches, all washed down with tea, lemonade and Sandringham apple juice.

After this, Penny and Haley went and lined up, ready for the royals to come out.

The national anthem was played and Prince Charles, Princess Anne and Camilla came out greeting guests.

Penny added: "We didn't meet them, but Camilla did say hello to us when she walked past."

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, said hello to Penny and Haley. (56639923)
Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, said hello to Penny and Haley. (56639923)

The pair did speak to a gentleman of arms, as well as the other guests in attendance.

There were live music to enjoy, and Penny and Haley even got caught in the rain watching the geese stroll around in the garden, but Penny said "this just added to an already fun day".

Penny said: "It's one of those days I won't ever forget, it was a huge privilege to be invited and to bring along my sister with me, the rain certainly didn't spoil it for us and we can now say we've been to a royal garden party and that it's ticked off the list."

Penny, Haley and a gentleman of arms. (56639938)
Penny, Haley and a gentleman of arms. (56639938)
The afternoon tea at Buckingham Palace. (56639926)
The afternoon tea at Buckingham Palace. (56639926)


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