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News > Memories at Hymers > Platinum Jubilee Stories: Paul's Chat Over Archery

Platinum Jubilee Stories: Paul's Chat Over Archery

HM The Queen watched archery students during a visit to Hull

In 1993, during Paul Graham's (OH 1989-96) time at Hymers College, HM The Queen visited Hull with the Duke of Edinburgh.  As part of that visit, they attended a display of archery by school children taking part in the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme, from various schools in the area, including Hymers College.

We were part of a group doing archery, which was always set up in pairs. The main aim for us was not to be the person firing the arrows as the Queen walked past for fear of messing it up or injuring royalty.

I remember the weather being fantastic sunshine, and that a hush went over the place as we all noticed The Queen arrive; the cue for a hundred or so children to get their head down and focus on their activity. She slowly walked down the line we were on the end of, accompanied by the Headmaster of the school, we were visiting and followed a few yards behind by a journalist and photographer from the Hull Daily Mail.

My archery partner, Tim and I started calculating how to ensure we weren’t the one holding the bow, and I timed it perfectly. This meant the Queen stopped right in front of me, while Tim had the bow and promptly asked in her inimitable tone, “Is it difficult?”

Just as I replied, “Yes, it is…” came the sound of Tim nailing a bullseye, so I added, “…except for him.”

“Very good,” the Queen replied, and then wandered away. 

The Hull Daily Mail reporter then came over to find out what had been said and unsurprisingly ignored my classic Queen banter and focused on the much bigger story: Schoolboy Scores Bullseye for Her Majesty!

There were definitely photos in the paper, and I’m pretty sure there was a headshot of Tim in there - but no mention of the in depth conversation I’d had with Her.

So there you go - the day I chatted to the Queen.

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