Sunday 23 June 2024
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NUH staff member remembers The Queen opening QMC in 1977

As Her Majesty drew up outside the main entrance to the Medical School, almost 45 years ago, Heather Howe recalls how excited she felt.

“There was a line of people who the Queen shook hands with and said hello to. Then we started to show her around the building. I was there to support Professor Rex Coupland, the Medical School’s Foundation Professor in Human Morphology.”

Heather, who now works in Neurology as a Patient Pathway Administrator, was 19-years-old when she was asked to be part of the Queen’s entourage. She was so close, she took the photo you can see in this article! Heather was one of a small group who showed Her Majesty around the QMC when she opened it in July 1977:

“She was quite small, but very smiley. She stopped to talk to people. She wore a wide-brimmed hat, in turquoise and aqua. She was in a dress suit, with stripes, squares and circles on the fabric. She looked young and fresh, with pearl earrings and the same hairstyle as she has today.”

If Heather got the chance to meet the Queen again, she would take the opportunity to congratulate Her Majesty on her career:

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“I met the Queen in her Silver Jubilee year and now it’s her Platinum! She’s done really well to keep going as long as she has. She’s had such a long and varied career. She’s kept going through thick and thin. Well done her.”

In the last 45 years, Heather has worked all over the Trust and looks back on 1977 with fond memories:

“I didn’t realise at the time what a huge thing it was. Looking back, it was a privilege.”

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