Sidmouth veteran disappointed with Royal experience

A 100-year-old former serviceman felt so let down by a “patronising” and “disappointing” garden party for veterans at Buckingham Palace that he has pledged never to repeat the experience.

Joe Daniels of Lymebourne Park, Sidmouth, was selected by The Not Forgotten Association of war veterans – of which he is one of the oldest members – to attend the do at the Queen’s official residence.

The former Royal Signalman served all over the world and mixed with nobility during World War Two – so he had high hopes of rekindling old friendships and seeing the royals at the palace.

Unfortunately, however, these were not realised on the day.

“It was patronising,” said Joe. “We were given a cucumber sandwich the size of two fingers and a small piece of cake. I wasn’t impressed. The congestion and the expense wasn’t worth it.”

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He added: “If the Queen wants me to come again, she’ll have to pay my expenses.”

Mr Daniels left before the climax of the party on May 24, an appearance by the Duchess of Gloucester, because he wanted to avoid London’s rush-hour traffic. It is estimated that the return trip by car from Devon cost �500.

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He did, however, thank David O’Connor, the chairman of the Sidmouth branch of the Royal British Legion, who organised his trip and drove him to south London and back.

Mr O’Connor had a sunnier perspective on the experience.

Looking back after the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, he said: “It was fantastic watching the royalty driving up the Mall after having been there.”

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