S: The Royal Visit to Madrid 30th March 2011
FC: The Royal Visit to Madrid 30th March 2011
1: His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales Meets Mr Griffith James and Mrs Barbara Patterson at HM Ambassador's residence in Madrid on Wednesday 30th March 2011. An account by Griff and Babs
2: The Prince meets his Subjects Mid afternoon in late February, we are watching “Countdown” The phone rings, “Hi Babs! Mark Simpson, British Consulate, Barcelona” “Can you and Griff attend at a Reception in Madrid on the 30th March on behalf of the British Benevolent Association? You will be meeting a V.I.P., but no other details are available” No discussion, the answer had to be YES! | First detail, we had pencilled in a date for the British Benevolent Association, Annual General Meeting for the following day. | This was soon rescheduled.
3: The web page UK living in Spain told us that H.R.H. The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall were visiting Spain to meet organisations that helped Ex Pat Brits in Spain. The individual Invitations arrived with details of dress code ,time and date of meeting place. Travelling by rail to Madrid was too expensive. Ryanair flew three flights a day but it was still necessary to fly the day before and return the day after the Reception.
4: On the 30th all visitors had to meet outside the British Embassy in Madrid, to be transported by coach, six in total, to the Ambassador’s home in the suburbs. On arrival our invitations and credentials were checked, and then we walked into the garden where the reception was to take place. | .
5: After selection into small groups to await the royals, refreshments were served. Small sandwiches with no crusts. bite size cakes and biscuits, tea, water, juices, sangria and cava.
6: The Royal couple arrive
7: Signing the visitors book before meeting their guests.
10: On arrival the Royals circulated in opposite directions to meet each person in turn.
11: When H.R.H. Charles, Prince of Wales shook Griff’s hand, Griff greeted him with “Prynawn Dda” (good afternoon in Welsh). Charles seemed surprised so Griff reminded him that he'd been greeted in the “language of heaven”.
12: Charles expressed an interest in our lapel badges ( Our names, Founder & President of the British Benevolent Society of Girona”)
14: At the Prince's request, Griff gave Charles the B.B.A. handout describing our function and achievements in the four years since our Inauguration!
18: The Prince then circulated amongst the representatives of the other charities present, i.e. Age Concern, Espana, The Royal British Legion, The Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen Families Association, The Salvation Army, the Clergy etc
20: The following text was taken from | As the Prince left the garden Griff greeted him with “Nos Dda” (good night) which raised a smile from the Prince. It had been a very pleasant afternoon. Griff’s only disappointment was that Babs did not wear her special collapsible white hat (previously reserved for weddings) and the White Gloves specially purchased the previous day from the Chinese 100pesta shop. | FLICKR UK in Spain>Collection>Royal Visit
21: Their Royal Highnesses the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall Travelled to Spain on a three-day official visit. Their official hosts were the Prince and the Princess of Asturias. High on a busy programme of events was a reception at HM Ambassador’s Residence in Madrid, where the Royal couple met and thanked some 300 representatives of the many thousands of Spanish and British volunteers who help to improve the lives of some of the most vulnerable British residents in Spain. An estimated one million British citizens live in Spain for part or all of the year, and inevitably some of them face increasing financial and health problems. As well as the British Consulates in Spain, the British community is heavily dependent on a network of volunteer organisations to provide self-help.
22: “Although it was impossible for the Royal couple to meet everybody, their presence is a tribute to each and every person who helps our British residents. “I want to add my own heartfelt thanks to all the volunteers. Their kindness and care is hugely valued and appreciated, and makes a big difference to many people’s lives.” | Among the many volunteer organisations attending the reception were Age Concern Acción Social , Age UK and The Royal British Legion, as well as representatives of Spanish local and regional authorities. | Giles Paxman