Back in 1974 I was one of a generation of London University students who marked their graduation with an awards ceremony at the Royal Albert Hall, hosted by HRH the Queen Mother. I shall never forget walking across the stage as my name was announced and dropping into a full curtsey (learned from many years of ballet classes) only to see her smile specially for me. Whenever I visit the Hall now for a concert or other event I see the many entrance doors and staircases and remember having to negotiate my way through to find the room in which Ede & Ravenscroft were fitting us all with our gowns and hoods.

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