"She made me feel amazing": Preston florist Margaret Mason looks back on meeting - and working for - the Queen
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Margaret, who is Preston’s longest-serving retailer, met The Queen three times and produced flowers for her on several occasions.
One of her fondest memories is being asked to make the floral arrangements for the Royal Box at the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall after it had been refurbished.
>>>Click here to read more about Margaret’s 61-year floristry career
Margaret said she had been working all night and didn’t expect to be presented to Her Majesty afterwards.
She said: “Lord Derby introduced me and said 'This is Margaret, she’s done the flowers.’
"The Queen said: “Have you really? They are beautiful.’
"We shook hands and I was shaking like a leaf. She made me feel amazing. For the Queen to admire your work is something very special.”
Margaret, a firm Royalist, has also met the Queen at St George’s Chapel in Windsor and through contacts in the industry, was asked to produce the flowers for when the Queen’s visited Preston.
She added: “I didn’t know what colours to use, so I rang up Buckingham Palace and was put straight through to the Queen’s Lady in Waiting.
"I asked what the Queen would be wearing.
"She said it was difficult to say because it all depended on the weather."
To make sure her flowers co-ordinated with the outfit, Margaret had a member of staff waiting at Preston Railway Station ready for when the Queen arrived by train.
Margaret said: “As soon as the Queen got out and we knew what colour she was wearing, they called me.
"By the time the Queen got out of the train station, we’d made up the flowers and got them to her.”
Margaret has also been to Buckingham Palace “two or three times” for Garden Parties has reflected on the Queen’s passing with sorrow.
She said: “Last night when I heard the news after work, I could have cried.
"I’m 86 and she’s been there all the way through my life. I used to buy all the Royal books.
"I think the example she has shown to us all is incredible."