Doncaster MBE holder meets Duke of Cambridge at Platinum Jubilee service

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An MBE holder from Doncaster rubbed shoulders with royalty and politicians after an ‘out of the blue’ invite to the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations – and ended up chatting with the Duke of Cambridge.

Lynne Wade, who has awarded the honour for dedicating her working life to helping prisoners, joined guests for last week’s Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral in London.

Joined by her daughter Elly Spencer, the pair were alongside the likes of The Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall as well as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at the event.

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Also joining them were former prime ministers such as Sir John Major, Gordon Brown, Theresa May and Sir Tony Blair along with current politicians such as Sir Keir Starmer, Nicola Sturgeon and Boris Johnson.

Lynne Wade was among guests at the glittering ceremony in London.Lynne Wade was among guests at the glittering ceremony in London.
Lynne Wade was among guests at the glittering ceremony in London.

Describing her day, Lynne, who picked up her MBE in the 2022 New Years Honours List for 2022 for services to prisoner education said: “Out of the blue five weeks ago, I received an email from the Lord Chamberlain’s office at Buckingham Palace inviting me and a guest to attend Her Majesty The Queen’s Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral followed by a reception at The Guildhall.

"Of course I accepted and I understand Her Majesty wished to invite guests from sectors of those honoured for their services to education, the NHS, and military personnel.

“The whole city was alive with an atmosphere which was just electric."

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The pair were up very early on Friday for security checks and Lynne added: “That meant getting up extra early to do our hair and make up, have breakfast and get dressed and travel across the city in time.

Lynne Wade and daughter Elly Spencer on the steps of St Paul's Cathedral.Lynne Wade and daughter Elly Spencer on the steps of St Paul's Cathedral.
Lynne Wade and daughter Elly Spencer on the steps of St Paul's Cathedral.

“As soon as we arrived we were met with crowds of well wishers waving flags and cheering, taking photos and videos from behind cordoned off areas.

"We chatted with other guests attending that day and we all said how honoured we felt to be a part of this historical event.

"We were treated exceptionally well by everyone and soon we made our way to the front steps of St Paul’s where, as far as the eye could see, crowds of people cheered and waved. It gave me goosebumps!”

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The pair were given a printed book of the service and order of procession.

Added Lynne: “It was so we knew who was arriving and at what time, but we needn’t have worried about that because as soon as any member of the Royal Family arrived there was a deafening cheer from outside the cathedral.

“I remember taking in all the beautiful scenes inside St Paul’s, the ceilings and walls with their magnificent art and at one point I remarked to my daughter that Princess Diana once stood where we were which felt quite surreal.

“The service was magnificent and ended with the congregation singing the most heartfelt national anthem I’ve ever heard.”

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The pair then went to the Guildhall for a food and drink reception.

She added: “We were fortunate to be with a group of people chatting with Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, but we didn’t have a one to one chat with her. However we did chat with Prince William and his equerry which was just the icing on the cake.”

“What a wonderful couple of days we spent in London and neither I, nor my daughter will forget them,” she added.

Lynne, 61 a prison educator at H.M. Prisons Lindholme, Moorland and H.M. Young Offenders Institution Hatfield, received her honour for or services to Prisoner Education.

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Lynne, of Thorne, started her career teaching in schools and further education colleges in the 1980s and then special needs schools, devising a series of courses for them.

She went on to create further education classes at Lindholme Prison and began teaching at Hatfield Young offender Borstal.

She has helped those who never excelled or even attended school regularly in childhood and those with learning difficulties come to enjoy learning and feel treated like students and not prisoners while in her classroom.

Lynne helps with their English even though she is not their language teacher determined to bring out the best in the most difficult of students, helping one pass exams who had previously been removed from class for being disruptive but she allowed him back in to continue learning.

During Covid she helped members of the public set up laptops and tablets remotely to keep them in touch with their families while visits were not allowed.