Volunteers attend palace tea party

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MORE than 35 years of combined service for their community led to two Wellingborough volunteers being invited to have tea with the Queen.

Cathy Mulholland and Gill Pride were at Buckingham Palace yesterday afternoon after being invited to attend a royal garden party.

The duo received their invitations in recognition of their voluntary work carried out over the last three decades on the Hemmingwell estate. Ms Mulholland has done voluntary work at the estate for the last 23 years and is chairman of the Hemmingwell Residents’ Association.

As well as organising events and supporting activities at the Hemmingwell Skills Centre for year, she has also led a campaign to get the street lights switched back-on at the estate and been nominated for a Pride in Northamptonshire award.

Speaking just before the event, she said: “Gill has been volunteering with the youth club for 12 years, and I have done voluntary work for 23 years. Someone must have nominated us because we got a letter from Lord Chamberlain to say we had been invited to the garden party. I expect we will be eating cucumber sandwiches. As far as I know the Queen and Prince Philip were going to be there. We were also told other members of the Royal family would be there.”

With rumours of an appearance by a princess, the pair could have been rubbing shoulders with Kate. The Queen is hosting two special Jubilee garden parties for volunteers at Buckingham Palace in the next week, with yesterday’s event set to be followed by another garden party on May 29.