A FORMER councillor was given the honour of meeting the Queen when he was invited to Buckingham Palace.
Richard Vallery-Peters, 47, met Her Majesty during a special tea party at the palace last Tuesday (May 29).
He was invited to the event in recognition of his charity and council work.
Richard represented Baird ward for eight years until he lost his seat at last month’s local elections.
Over the years he has raised £30,000 for a variety of charities and causes included Sussex Air Ambulance, Royal National Lifeboat Institution, Broomgrove Community Residents Association and the Hastings & St Leonards Veterans Association.
A former naval rating, Richard has been secretary of the local Veterans Association since July 2008.
He has been busy organising the annual Armed Forces Day event for July 1 and had no idea he had been nominated to go the palace.
“It came as a complete surprise,” he said. “I have no idea who nominated me but it was a real honour.
“I met the Queen and she said how lovely it was to see me.
“During the course of the afternoon, I also met the Patron of the Hastings & St Leonards Veterans Association, HRH the Duchess of Cornwall. She remembered me from her visit to Hastings in May last year.
“The Queen smiled sweetly and radiated warmth the way only a grandmother can, she is a truly remarkable lady.
“I also had the honour of meeting other members of the Royal Family, including Prince Philip, Prince Charles and HRH the Duchess of Cambridge, who is absolutely stunning in real life.
“It was an unforgettable experience and one of the proudest days of life.”