28 May 2019

Jane Parker, Library Manager at Nottingham College, spent the day at Buckingham Palace earlier this month, after receiving an invite to a Royal Garden Party. Jane is one of the College’s longest-serving members of staff, helping thousands of students over her 36 years working at the College, and she was chosen from a pool of staff who recently received Long Service Awards.

Each year, more than 30,000 guests are invited to the garden parties as a way of recognising public service. Jane manages the College libraries, making sure all services and facilities are operating smoothly so that students receive the support they need.

Jane took her husband Steve along to the palace for the event on 15 May. After travelling down to London, Jane and Steve walked through the palace gates and across the forecourt to the quadrangle behind. The scene was instantly recognisable from seeing historic royal weddings on the television.

The couple were then welcomed into the palace gardens and treated to a very special afternoon tea, while Gentlemen at Arms organised the moment when they would see members of the royal family, who were hosting the party.

Jane said: “Her Majesty The Queen was unfortunately at another engagement, but we were able to see The Prince of Wales, The Duchess of Cornwall and the Princess Royal.

“It was a wonderful day and I’m thankful to the College for nominating me in recognition of my long service. It’s a day I shall never forget.”

The College was given the opportunity to recommend a staff member for a potential invite, after hosting a professional development immersion visit for the Department for Education late last year.

Emma Woods, Executive Director of Academic, Adult and Quality at Nottingham College, notified Jane that she had been selected to attend. Emma said: “The Colleges’ Long Service Awards earlier this year recognised and rewarded staff with 25 or more years of service, and it was wonderful to be able to build on that and recommend Jane for an invitation to attend the Royal Garden Party.”