What was it like being in the Cosford pageant? Sophie Barnes from Madeley Academy in Telford, gives her inside story on a day she will never forget.
What was it like being in the Cosford pageant? Sophie Barnes from Madeley Academy in Telford, gives her inside story on a day she will never forget:
After ten years, I finally got the chance to see the Queen again. I would declare myself a royalist, but why at such a young age, you may ask?
I respect Her Majesty and the royal family for the role they play in forming and maintaining foreign ties, contributing to the economy through tourism and by the traditions of history which promotes such a fascination.
As a nation we can always rely on the British Royal Family to provide a good, old-fashioned royal knees up! Especially when royalty is heading towards your county.
The usual morning alarm call was like no other. A parade for our Head of State is not something you can wake up to everyday; a once in a lifetime opportunity to say that I had taken part. At school for 7am, it was straight into hair and make-up with the excitement gradually building in the school salon. As soon as I arrived at school it became clear that my alarm call this morning had washed away any sign of nerves.
I felt so out of place walking around Madeley Academy at 8.45am in the morning; an eruption of colour spiralled out of the building to board the coach to RAF Cosford. As a small group of just 16 students ranging from years 9-12, we took the inspiration for our costumes from our 2012 school production of We Will Rock You which featured bohemian style clothing with a punk edge but also clone and Barbie outfits – enhancing our role as a group from the 1980’s decade of the Parade.
Having entered RAF Cosford at 10am, it would be another four hours before we strolled past Her Majesty. The excitement was rife. My friends thought that I had ants in my pants because I just could not keep still! I felt like a child in a sweet shop. Some of the children from the Primary Schools were better behaved than me!
With the chance to explore the grounds of such a vast air base and discover the souvenir stands, I quickly made my presence apparent to the young, smartly dressed men of the Royal Air Force on parade. However, this was only a temporary distraction as the final decent towards the Pageant began.
After waiting a further half an hour, which felt like a lifetime, I finally got the chance to see such an inspirational woman. Smaller than I imagined and dazzling in pink, the Queen was clearly enjoying our medley of We Will Rock You songs and judging by the smile on the Duke of Edinburgh’s face, he was too.
At 91, Prince Philip didn’t look his age when showing his enthusiasm for our theme. I was bursting with delight when the royal couple waved to us all as we strolled past the Royal Enclosure. A small gesture that meant so much.
I am proud to say that I took part in a day of history in such a special year for this country. Making me feel proud to be British, experiences of this day will be shared with many generations to come.
Long may her reign continue.