Not everyone can say they’ve met the Queen, but Katie Holness can.

“She got to our side, so it was pure luck,” Holness said.

At eight, Holness had stood outside Christ Church Cathedral in Victoria for hours with a bouquet of flowers, waiting for the Queen.

A snapshot captured the fateful and fleeting moment of three women: a little girl, her grandmother and their queen.

Katie Holness and Amy Holness meet Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in Victoria in 2002. Courtesy of the Holness family

“We didn’t have a lot of female leaders back then, so she was someone to look up to,” Katie said. “I gave her the flowers. My grandmother had asked me to say “Here is Your Majesty” and to be very correct. She had said thank you, and we had a short exchange.

Her grandmother Amy Holness was the Queen’s first fan, making albums when she was a little girl.

“Her family didn’t have any money, and she couldn’t afford to collect newspapers and stuff, so she said it was actually quite difficult at the time to get all the pictures,” Katie said.

For her grandmother, Elizabeth represented the hope that women could do anything.

“My grandmother was very ambitious, so I think she really admired women in power,” Katie said. “She was in nursing school with three boys. My grandfather worked in Alaska. She says she used to get up at 3 am to do all her homework. She was entitled to A. She is very proud of it. »

For Katie, the Queen will always represent a world of possibilities.

“It’s a memory I will forever hold in my heart,” Katie said. “I have a young daughter, I will be sure to pass on to her the Queen’s legacy and the history I have.”

Inspire a man to continue cycling until he turns 80

For others, their chance encounter with Her Majesty got them pedaling.

“All of a sudden one of the Saanich police officers said ‘hey Vic over here!’ I said ‘wow! I didn’t do anything wrong.’ He said the queen just asked for a BC map, can you get it? I said I was on it,” Vic Lindal said.

It was the 1994 Commonwealth Games, Lindal was covering the action for Shaw TV. The Commonwealth Pool car park was blocked off, the police couldn’t get out and the Queen needed a map.

“I mean I made no judgment on what the card was, I just knew my job was to get the card and that’s what I did,” Lindal said.

Canada’s newest, and possibly only, Queen’s bike courier has taken off and delivered.

“Ron McLean on CBC, who was the host, said I heard this story about Vic getting a card, I wonder if he was really asked for a nap, not a card! I got all kinds of covers for that,” Lindal said.

Over 20 years later Lindal is still riding the bike, inspired by the Queen to keep adventuring.

From Her Majesty’s Security Service to Friends Forever

One of the few in Victoria, BC who knew the Queen personally was Rick Anthony’s grandfather, MFE Anthony (who went by Anthony or Tony).

Tony was Her Majesty’s Personal Security Officer, during her 1951 Royal Tour as Princess.

It was the start of a long friendship.

“I have photos that no one has ever seen. They are not published. The one with his square dancing there, it’s probably never seen before,” said Rick Anthony, Tony’s grandson.

Photo courtesy of Rick Anthony

Rick says Tony attended his coronation, stayed at Clarence House, visited Balmoral, he even went fishing in northern Canada with Prince Philip. The two exchanged gifts fondly.

“The cufflinks were given to my grandfather by the Queen and ordered by Royal Assent that he wear them every day he worked, and he did!”

The special connection came full circle 43 years later when Rick, a Victoria Police officer, was in police custody while in Victoria.

“When I met her, we chatted about my grandfather and she said she remembers him fondly and all the adventures they had together,” Rick said.

“Sometime in the 1950s they were crossing Labrador. They called him and asked if he would meet them there. It was the middle of the night, and he flew out to meet them. So it was not a fleeting friendship, it was a deeply rooted friendship.

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