`The whole day was one of the best of my life’ said Steve. `It was an honour and a privilege to take part in the Ceremony and be part of a group of people who were in general your everyday characters who have made a difference in their own way’.
The day started with Steve and his family, wife Teresa and children Neil, Kim and Paul making their way through the front gates of Buckingham Palace, across the courtyard and into the first reception area. Shortly after this the guests were taken to the main Ballroom where the Ceremony would take place and the recipients went to a separate room where they waited until our group was called.
There were around 100 recipients on the day and one of the Palace staff took us through our paces in a rehearsal for our big moment.
As each group was taken through to the Ceremony the remainder of us were able to chat together and learn of each other’s achievements, the group comprised a wide range of characters including a policeman from Manchester, a farmer from Cumbria and a number of servicemen and women recently returned from Afghanistan.
Then came my turn, I remembered what I had to do. The presentation was made by HRH Prince Charles and in a moment it was all over. From the Investiture we were escorted back into the Ballroom to watch the rest of the Ceremony.
Once the Investiture had concluded we met up with our families and then spent time in the courtyard taking official and unofficial photos and then we left the Palace through the main gates.
It was a truly wonderful experience and I was pleased that I could share it with Teresa and the children who have contributed so much behind the scenes to allow me the time to achieve what we did.
For the future there is still plenty to do but for now I can reflect on probably what was the best day of my life so far.