I met HRH Prince of Wales during his official visit to Oman in 1995 when I was PA to the Ambassador at the British Embassy. I was introduced to him with a colleague as we had worked on his programme and admin arrangements for the visit (I'm the redhead shaking his hand).
I also had the privilege of meeting HM The Queen during her state visit to Italy in October 2000 when I was PA to the Minister at the British Embassy in Rome. I was granted a private audience with her and HRH Prince Philip as I had coordinated an event (one event is a huge task for a State Visit!) and assisted with other administrative arrangements as part of a wider team. Those lucky enough to be granted an audience queued in a huge and ornately decorated room at the Palazzo Quirinale. Apart from the briefing by officials from the Royal Household on how to address HM, silence rained and the nervousness of those waiting was palpable. My turn came and, wrongly, I had assumed the next room to be equally as grand. It wasn’t, it was tiny in comparison, and I marched in to find I was only a feet away from HM and HRH. HM had a look of amusement on her face as I came to an abrupt halt – I am sure everyone else had done the same as I had. The interview is a blur with thankyous on both sides and HM presenting me with a signed photograph, my overriding image of HM being her incredibly blue eyes and beautifully unblemished skin. Then it was over as quickly as it had begun. The photo is buried somewhere in the attic – I must find it!