With the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee on the horizon Sully resident Eileen Younghusband had a real surprise when she recently opened her post.
Whilst sifting through the usual assortment of bills, Eileen was surprised to see not one, but two envelopes bearing the Royal seal. The letters were in response to correspondence sent by Eileen, who had posted a copy of her book, One Woman’s War to both Her Majesty the Queen and His Royal Highness Prince Charles. Eileen, who is 91 in July, was extremely proud to receive the letters. She said: “At such a busy time for the Royal Family I feel quite humble that they had time to write to me.”
Eileen, who is former a WAAF Officer, was five when Her Majesty was born. She has followed the Queen’s progress with great interest, especially when Her Majesty joined the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS), the female branch of the Army, in 1942.
Eileen still has vivid memories of the Coronation in 1953 and the Silver Jubilee in 1977. She said: “On the day of the Coronation I was at the Winter Gardens in Ventor, Isle of Wight. It was fantastic to see the young princess from the ATS ascend to greatness. During the Silver Jubilee we were in California, but watched it on US television. The Americans have always been Pro Royal and so the news channels were going mad over it. We drank a toast with fellow UK nationals and I erected a large Union Flag at the front of our house.”
During the Queen’s Golden Jubilee, Eileen had moved to Wales for the festivities. This particular celebration holds a special place in Eileen’s heart as, having lost her husband. Eileen was alone and in a new community. Her new neighbours invited her to a Jubilee party and it was through the celebration of Her Majesty’s reign that Eileen felt welcomed and secure in her new environment.
This time around Eileen will be celebrating Her Majesty’s 60-year reign in a more significant way. Over 4000 beacons are to be lit on Monday 4th June. This will take place throughout the UK, Channel Islands, and the Isle of Man along with the Commonwealth and UK Overseas Territories. One of these beacons will be lit in the small village of Sully where Eileen now resides. She said: “We have been granted a special honour. Having the letters, the lighting of the beacon and the Jubilee so close to my 91st birthday makes it all the more wonderful.”
In a recent YouTube message Eileen sent her best wishes to Her Majesty the Queen. She said: “Your Majesty, may I send you my personal thanks for the years of service you have rendered to our country. I hope you enjoy every glorious moment of the celebration of your Diamond Jubilee.”
Eileen’s book ‘One Woman’s War’ is available now from One Woman's War