Queen Elizabeth once rescued a navy Wren

ICONINSIDER — A woman has told the story of the time Queen Elizabeth rescued her after a horrific accident at sea.
Julie Harding was just 18 years old when she was working as a Navy Wren on a frigate which was escorting the Royal Yacht Britannia on a summer cruise to the Western Isles of Scotland in 1992.
Whilst working on the boat, Julie slipped on deck and a hatch crushed her finger tips, and upon hearing word of the accident, the monarch allowed her to be treated on board Britannia by the royal doctors.
Julie, now 43, was visited by the 91-year-old royal as well as her husband Prince Philip and son Prince Edward whilst she rested in the sick bay, where she dined on special meals and had a concert performed just for her by the Royal Marine band.
Speaking about the honour, Julie said: “The Queen gave permission for me to come on board and made sure I was well looked after. She even asked if she could come down and see me.
“The Queen, Prince Philip and Prince Edward then paid me a visit. They spent 10 minutes talking to me, it was all a bit surreal. She asked if I was OK and if I had everything I needed.
“She sent me down the Royal puddings every night I was there. The Royal Family ate a different meal to the crew and the puddings were absolutely delicious.
“She let me use the Royal baths. She even sent the band down to cheer me up. They could not have looked after me any better.”
“If we had not been travelling with the Royal yacht I would have lost the ends of my fingers.”
Julie’s special treatment saw her make history by becoming the first woman who was not a member of the Royal Family or their retinue to be given such an honour.
The extraordinary tale has only emerged now, over 20 years later, after former members of Britannia’s crew tracked Julie down and invited her to a special 25th anniversary event last weekend.

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