Day orf for ‘Queen’ who turns Haselour House into H’R’H
SHE’S spent a frantic time doubling up at events as the whole of Britain toasted the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
In fact, Thorpe Constantine school Ma’am Patricia Ford missed out on watching all the celebrations as she ‘filled in’ for Her Majesty at public events and charity galas all over the country.
And while Queen Elizabeth enjoyed a family get together at Windsor Castle, exams invigilator Patricia was exciting flag-waving shoppers at neighbouring Eton with a walkabout of corgis in a special visit organised by the Royal Borough.
But on Sunday, the UK’s most famous ‘ER’ lookalike was able to mingle with political and business leaders from Tamworth and Lichfield plus UK and European parliamentarians at a late jubilee garden party – held “in her honour” at Haselour House, Harlaston.
For the 77-year-old, who a decade ago during the Queen’s Golden Jubilee dropped her day job as school secretary for royal impersonator when strangers started to comment on her regal likeness, it was almost like a “day orf”.
She met Tamworth MP Chris Pincher; West Midlands MEP Philip Bradbourn who represents Staffordshire in his giant constituency; Tamworth Tory council leader Danny Cook; Lichfield District Council deputy leader Val Richards and the party’s hosts – Tamworth businesswoman and Lichfield district councillor Sue Arnold and her businessman husband, John.
And everyone got into the party mood. Youthful-looking Tamworth MP Chris Pincher, sporting a new beard that transforms him into more than a passing resemblance to the Queen’s grandfather, King George V, played up to the occasion – bowing to the HRH double when introduced to her.
Patricia, who has played the Queen in the film I am Bob Geldof, a tortilla advert in Mexico and pop videos, said: “This year has been very hectic.
“If I normally get 10 inquiries a week I was getting 10 a day from the beginning of June for the Jubilee celebrations.”
The lookalike said she couldn’t imagine doing the same jobs for 60 years. “The Queen should relax and put her feet up and do what she wants to do rather than looking at her engagement diary all the time,” she added.
“She’s a really nice lady who lives an unenviable life – I wouldn’t want to be her.”
The invitations to the red, white and blue-themed event said it all as the Queen lookalike turned the HH of party venue Haselour House into H’R’H.
At the end of an afternoon, which saw revellers dash for cover under a giant marquee when the heavy rains came but finished bathed in late July sunshine, the hosts were able to announce £1,300 had been raised for Help the Heroes plus Tamworth and Lichfield Conservative Associations.
“It was Harlaston’s royal day to remember,” added Councillor Arnold. “I’m sure everyone who came won’t forget it in a hurry.”
Footnote: Royals have been visiting Tamworth for centuries. Queen Victoria came to Drayton Manor to see her Prime Minister, Sir Robert Peel at his home in 1843 – and the real Queen Elizabeth II walked along a red brick ‘carpet’ to open the town’s Ankerside shopping development in June 1980.