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Queen thanks garden party guests
The Queen thanked ordinary members of the public for their contribution to community life at a Diamond Jubilee garden party on Tuesday.
She attended the event at Sandringham in Norfolk without the Duke of Edinburgh as he continued to recover from a bladder infection. She was accompanied instead by the Duke of York.
Wearing an apricot hat and overcoat, she arrived to a fanfare from the band of the Royal Marines before mingling with the 3,500 guests.
The event was the first garden party to be held at Sandringham since a similar event to mark the Golden Jubilee in 2002.
It was organised to pay tribute to people from Norfolk and Suffolk for their contribution to the life and welfare of their communities.
Among them was Joy Bradshaw, 80, originally from Dublin but who has lived in West Earlham, Norwich, since childhood. She was invited in recognition of her 23 years volunteering for Meals on Wheels.
Miss Bradshaw said: "I cared for my parents for 20 years and decided to volunteer after that.
"It was enormously rewarding because sometimes I was the only person who ever visited some people.
"I was so surprised to be invited here today and it is a wonderful honour."
Students from City College Norwich, West Anglia College, King's Lynn, and Great Yarmouth College provided the catering for the party.
This involved making 4,000 chocolate tarts, red, white and blue macaroons and scones.
Connor Carway, a City College Norwich student, said: "We spent the whole of yesterday preparing the food. It's been a challenge but great fun."
Other guests included David Freeman, a caretaker at East Norfolk Sixth Form College, Irenee and Robert Batch, the honorary secretary and honorary treasurer of Hospital Radio Norwich, and Pauline Simpson, chaplain and secretary of Far Eastern Prisoners of War.
Mr Freeman, 62, from Gorleston, attended with his wife, Lorraine, 52. Before working as a caretaker, he spent nine years in the Royal Navy.
He said: "My invitation came as a real bolt from the blue but it's been a fabulous day.
"If I'm honest I don't really know why I deserve such a privilege but it is a tremendous honour.
"The Queen asked me what I do and said what an important job it is."
Sushil Soni, 75, from Ipswich, helped establish the town's Racial Equality Council and recently established East Anglia's first Hindu temple in Ipswich.
Dr Soni said: "We have been fortunate that the sun has shone on us. It is fabulous to be here."