26 May 2016

An emergency planning officer from Northamptonshire County Council enjoyed an afternoon with the Royal family after being invited to a Buckingham Palace Garden Party.

Joanne Maddams received the Royal invitation after being put forward for the honour by Lord Lieutenant of Northamptonshire David Laing in recognition of her work in emergency planning.

Joanne, who has worked for the county council for 30 years, also launched and runs the Northamptonshire Emergency Response Corps (NERC), a charity that brings together the various agencies involved in emergency response in the county.

Joanne Maddams outside Buckingham Palace.

Royal family

The Garden Party took place on Tuesday (May 24) and was attended not only by the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh but also the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice.

Joanne said: “I was thrilled to receive the invitation to the Queen’s Garden Party at Buckingham Palace. It was so lovely to be there with other people who have given that little bit extra and be recognised in such a lovely way – over 6,000 people attend each one!

“I met some extraordinary people and it was lovely to see the Royals up close and be able to relax and wander in such elegant surroundings. But one thing I wasn’t sure about were the cucumber and mint sandwiches!”

Exceptional public service

The Queen hosts three garden parties a year at Buckingham Palace to recognise and reward people for exceptional public service or community work.

People from all sections of the community are invited, usually through organisations such as the Government, Armed Services, police, charities, and Lord-Lieutenants, who nominate guests.