NEVER did it once cross Leslie Francis’ mind that she would be invited to Buckingham Palace to enjoy the splendour of a Royal Garden Party.

But on May 15, Leslie and husband Tim entered the grounds of the palace to enjoy an afternoon alongside other people who spend their working lives making a difference to others.

Leslie, who runs Enham Post Office and Shop, was one of a group of people from the village invited to enjoy the honour.

“It was lovely, it was just a privilege to go in and walk through Buckingham Palace into the courtyard and out the other side.

“It was just immense, with grass as far as you can see.

“It was just amazing to have that much garden in the middle of London.”

She added: “Prince Charles and Camilla, and Princess Anne and her husband were there and went into the Royal tent.”

Leslie, who is also chair of Enham Alamein Parish Council, has not been told who nominated her to be recognised or why they did it.

She said: “I was contacted to say that ‘somebody had nominated you to be considered for a invitation’, someone unknown nominated me, I don’t know who and I don’t know why.”

And she was given three dates, including May 15, the date which would have been her father’s birthday.

To their surprise, Leslie and Tim also came across friends from many years ago, who live in Blandford.

“It is just such a lovely atmosphere, people from all walks of life, age and vocation mixing with each other.”

Also in attendance was Nigel Sully, head of gardening enterprise at Enham Trust, who was accompanied by his wife Sally.

Nigel said: “I was honoured to be asked to represent such an amazing organisation and to be amongst so many people who were there to be recognised for their impact on society.

“It was a fantastic day.”