RAF Benevolent Fund ambassador Jacqui Thompson joined thousands of people at the Patron's Lunch on the Mall on Sunday to celebrate Her Majesty the Queen's 90th birthday. In this guest blog she describes the party atmosphere and how even the heavy morning rain could not dampen their spirits...
I was up at 5am and left Nottingham at half past seven. I could hear other people chatting excitedly as they were on their way to the same thing.
When I got to our table on the Mall everything was soaking wet. There were some ladies wearing lovely fascinators and there was some great fancy dress but it was all covered in ponchos! But I felt on top of the world in my poncho, soaking wet, eating my sandwich and drinking my cup of tea.
There was a buzz of excitement when the Royal Family were arriving. All of a sudden everyone forgot how wet they were. It was like a ray of sunshine had come out. The atmosphere was just fantastic. One of the highlights for me was seeing Prince Edward and the Countess of Wessex’s daughter Lady Louise walking round. I just wanted to pick her up and give her a cuddle. I would not have been able to cope with all of those faces looking at me.
And then the Queen came. I felt like a little girl I was so excited! She looked beautiful and her outfit was beautiful too. The sun came out for her and shined. Just being there in that moment was like I was part of history. I do not think any body else but the British would do what we did – sit in the rain with our sandwiches with a smile on our faces.
It was an incredible day. I cannot believe how fortunate and how lucky I was to be there.