Lifelong royal watcher reflects on favourite memory of the Queen

James Taylor showing his royal memorabilia Credit: ITV News
James Taylor showing his royal memorabilia to ITV News Central Credit: ITV News Central

James Taylor, from Shirebrook near Mansfield, has been a lifelong fan of the Royals

He can't remember a time when he didn't find them fascinating.

As a child, James said he would watch the State Opening of Parliament and Trooping the Colour with his gran. 

He remembers when he was seven years old reading out loud from a book on the Kings and Queen of England to anyone who would listen. 

The Trooping the Colour ceremony in 2015 particularly stands out for him.

Reflecting on his fondest memories, he said: "I do remember having seen (the Queen) a few times.

"The most special occasion I think was when I've been to see the Trooping the Colour ceremony, because there is a national ballot and you apply for tickets but you've no idea whether you'll get them."

"The moment when that came through the letterbox to say you've been selected to go and take tickets to go and watch the Queen's birthday parade, it's just very special.

"And I'm one of those people that whenever you have the national anthem played... can feel the hairs on the back of your neck stand on edge. So when that happens when the Queen is actually there, you know you stand up that little bit straighter and you want to do it well."

"It's something that I'd never missed on the television so to be able to be there to see it in person was very special".

For his 18th birthday, James was given a huge tapestry by a family friend - to commemorate the Golden Jubilee year in 2002. 

One Christmas, he bought a brooch for his mum, which is a replica of the one given to the Queen when Prince Charles was born.

The tapestry James was given and the replica of the brooch he gave to his mum Credit: ITV News

In a statement from Buckingham Palace on Thursday 8 September, it was announced that the Queen had died "peacefully" at Balmoral.

James believes the Queen captured the hearts of so many because of her selfless dedication to her job.

He said: "I very much doubt there would be many days in the Queen's diary where there was nothing in there. Even when she was on holiday, she'd still be meeting someone such as a prime minister or an ambassador".

In tribute to her legacy as Britain's longest reigning monarch, the royal fan said:

"It is a massive achievement, largely through having lived so long and having become Queen so young, but I think it is a great achievement and especially because of the loyalty, the steadfastness, the dedication to duty and always being there.

"She's somebody that very few people can remember a time before she was Queen and when she didn't have an influence on us".