A pensioner who has served with the Royal British Legion for more than 40 years has been invited to attend a garden party at Buckingham Palace next week.
Frank Edgeley, 83, from Coppice Road, Ryhall, and partner Sue Halsall will join thousands of other guests at the event which will be attended by members of the Royal family.
Frank was nominated for a place in recognition of his tireless work in the community.
As well as serving with the Royal British Legion’s Ryhall and District branch – where he is secretary and standard bearer – Frank volunteered with Ryhall’s scout troop, was in the Territorial Army for eight years, served as a special constable for 20 years, and currently volunteers at the British Heart Foundation’s charity shop in Stamford.
Frank, who has four children and three grandchildren, said he got a call out of the blue from Lord Lieutenant of Rutland Dr Laurence Howard asking if he would like to attend the party on Tuesday.
He said: “It was a total surprise – at first I wasn’t certain it was a real call.
“I’ve always enjoyed volunteering but I don’t do it for the recognition. I do it because I am able to do it and I enjoy it and I like helping.
“Somebody put my name forward for the guest list but I don’t know who it was.
“I’m a royalist, so I’m very much looking forward to the day and have bought myself a new suit for the occasion.”
Three Royal garden parties are held at Buckingham Palace every year and about 8,000 people from all walks of life attend each one.
On average, around 27,000 cups of tea, 20,000 sandwiches and 20,000 slices of cake are consumed from a 408-feet long buffet.
Despite approaching his 84th birthday, Frank, a former engine fitter at Blackstones, is still very active and enjoys cycling, walking and riding his two motorbikes.