Year Six at school can be a memorable time for many people, right before you head off to senior school and a time you’re starting to grow up and learn new things.

But for Richard Aldridge, it was also the year he met the Queen at our Golden Jubilee event at London’s Guildhall.

Richard’s father, John, who was a firefighter with LFB, had sadly died in a car crash shortly before and we supported his family in the years following his tragic death.

Here Richard, now 40, who works as a security engineer, recalls the day.

He says: “My dad, John, was in London Fire Brigade, based around Silvertown.

“He left the fire service because he had an injury and a couple of years later he was killed in a car crash. I was about six when he passed away and then the Benevolent Fund supported us. They supported us financially every month in the time immediately after he died.”

Richard and his mother were invited to join several other beneficiaries at the event, with Richard chosen as one of few to speak to Her Majesty.

“I remember waiting outside for her to come along, knowing I’d be meeting her and shaking her hand,” he says.

“I was in Year Six at the time, so I was only about 11 years old. I was one of the ones picked to stand in line as she walked down and spoke to people and someone had mentioned to me that it was Prince Philip’s birthday.

“Immediately, I wished him Happy Birthday when I spoke to her! She replied something like, ‘I’ll be seeing him this evening, I’ll mention that to him’.

“I’ve still got great memories of the day and I’ve got the video that I’ve shown my other half. She said, ‘you can spot you a mile off, everyone’s standing there patiently and you’re popping up and down!’”

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