The South Shields boy who asked the Queen and Prince Philip for a cheese and tomato sandwich on royal visit at Gypsies Green

Mea Deen will never forget the day he met the Queen.

The South Shields youngster went up to the Her Majesty and Prince Philip in 1977 and asked if they had a cheese and tomato sandwich!

He was only five at the time and was captured on camera as he ran towards the Royal car at Gypsies Green with his brother Fazel chasing after him.

Mea is 50 now and lives in Seaham, but he still remembers the day he made an impression.

Delighted crowds get a close-up view of the Queen. Can you spot someone you know? Photo: Freddie Mudditt (Fietscher Fotos)

"My dad jokingly said ‘go and ask Prince Philip for a cheese and tomato sandwich’.”

Five-year-old Mea decided he would actually do it! He recalled: “I broke through the security and sprinted towards the car before my dad had even finished the sentence."

The whole incident was caught on camera by photographer Freddie Mudditt.

Mea admitted: “I never did get that cheese and tomato sandwich.”


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Mea Deen who made a right Royal impression in 1977.

But he got a ‘full force’ rocketing from his dad when he got back in among the spectators.

It was quite some memory from the Silver Jubilee year and he added: “I can remember that everyone was ranting and raving about the Jubilee.

"My mam said to us ‘we are going to go to Gypsies Green’ and the crowds were huge. We were stood at the top.”


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But Mea wasn’t at the top of the stadium for long as he made his sprint for the running track with Fazel, who was aged 6 at the time and is now 51, in full pursuit.

Mea Deen, right, running to catch up with the Royal car - and his brother Fazel chasing behind him. Photo: Freddie Mudditt (Fietscher Fotos)

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Life has treated Mea well since then. He spent four years in the British Army before becoming a singer. He has appeared on stages in the North East’s pubs and clubs ever since.


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What memories do you have of seeing the Queen in the North East? Have you met her, or perhaps even talked to her?

Were you there at Gypsies Green or perhaps you met her when she came to South Tyneside in the early 2000s.

Mea with his partner Rachael Crooks and the Union Jack after they had just completed the Mount Everest Base Camp Trek.

Perhaps you have met Her Majesty at Buckingham Palace and would like to share the memories of that momentous day. We would love to hear from you.


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Tell us more by emailing [email protected]

Mea Deen, the Seaham and former South Shields man who saw the Queen in 1977.