Alumni memories of meeting HRH Queen Elizabeth II
The Queen was the nation’s longest-serving and longest-reigning monarch, having acceded to the throne in 1952. She was well known for her sense of duty and devotion to a life of service. Many alumni had the privilege of meeting HRH Queen Elizabeth II and wanted to share their memories, following her state funeral on 19 September 2022.
John Wylie, who studied Chemistry at Paisley College of Technology (now UWS Paisley Campus) in the late 1950’s before going on to become Director of External Engagement at the University, recalls attending Buckingham Palace to receive an MBE for services to Education in November 1994.
John recounts: “It was a great occasion. Margaret, my wife and my two daughters, Morag and Aileen accompanied me. I will always remember the short conversation I had with her when she made the presentation. In the week before, Paisley had been deluged with rain and she said ‘I know that Paisley has been very wet. I wonder where all this rain comes from’. How do you answer that!”
BA Social Studies (1979) graduate Norman Goodwin CBE, has tirelessly campaigned to raise the profile of adoption, retiring recently from Adoption Matters and now sits on the Boards of a number of Regional Adoption Agencies.
Awarded a CBE in the 2015 Queen’s Birthday Honours for recognition of his outstanding contribution and distinguished service to adoption services and the family, Norman recalls: “It was a great privilege for myself and my family to receive an Honour from the Queen. It also recognised the amazing work of Adoption Matters in placing for adoption and supporting over 7,000 children. I was very impressed that Her Majesty was so aware and interested in the lives of these children and seeking to know that their future support and security was assured.
“So many people have remarked over these past few days, the genuine and personal interest, the Queen had for each individual. I can certainly agree with that view from my own personal experience.”
Carol Burt-Wilson graduated with a BA in Human Resources Management in 2009 and was awarded an MBE on 29 December 2018 for services to Disability Hate Crime Prevention, as founder of I Am Me Scotland a project she started in 2013.
Carol was invited to meet with Queen Elizabeth II at Holyrood Palace for the investiture in July 2019. “It was an incredible day, said Carol. When we arrived, we were given guidance for our meeting with her Majesty, including how to curtsy and how to address her. It was a wonderful, though overwhelming experience, and I was incredibly nervous. She demonstrated a hugely warm welcome with her lovely smile, reassuring, though somewhat surprising firm handshake and an amazing memory, remembering each of our names and the details about our work. She also had the unique and lovely ability to make you feel as though you were the only person in the room.”
“She was such an inspirational lady, who dedicated her life to serving her people. She did this with dignity, respect and dedication, and will be greatly missed. I feel honoured to have had the opportunity to be a small part of that service.”