'Meeting Ant & Dec at Coronation was a whirlwind'

time:2023-06-02 15:37:49source:BBC News (British Broadcasting Corporation) author:Press center3

An Asda worker says attending the Coronation of King Charles III was emotional and surreal.

Joan Scott, community champion for Asda's Pwllheli store, was awarded the British Empire Medal for services to the community in Gwynedd last year in recognition of her work.

She carried a photo of her late parents, who were at the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953, into Westminster Abbey with her.

"It's just been a whirlwind," she said.

"The people made it for me. All those different cultures and diversity.

"There was so much history. In front of us were the soldiers who carried the Queen's coffin."

She took a selfie with presenters Ant and Dec, who she described as "real characters", and saw Katy Perry and Prince Harry.

The performance in Welsh by bass-baritone Bryn Terfel at the coronation was particularly moving, she said.

"I just cried. It reminded me of my home in Wales. I had a photograph of my mother and father with me but I wish they could have been inside [the abbey] with me."

Her grandchildren Harrison, 10, and Ivy, 2, who is named after her mother, were proud she was able to attend.

"It was just so beautiful," she said.

"I was so happy and proud I was able to be there."

Ms Scott, who moved to Wales from England after meeting her husband at Butlins and abandoning plans to move to Switzerland to work there as a receptionist, has made the country her home.

"I've got such beautiful scenery, and I've got the beach and the mountains and the people and the language and the culture. I'm still scared of cows and sheep and most animals... but it's Cymru am byth now," she said.

She received the British Empire Medal at Caernarfon castle in 2022, where the Investiture service was held for then Prince Charles in 1969.

"I thought I had a speeding ticket," she says of the moment the envelope arrived telling her of the British Empire award.

She met the King at Buckingham Palace last summer after being awarded the British Empire Medal, and had previously met him in 2013 in connection with the Prince's Trust.

"My job has enabled me to help so many people," she said. "I tend to look for those that need support and help. It's such a wonderful job."

By Monday, she was back at work, telling colleagues about her trip to London.

"I can't believe all of this has happened," she said.

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