South Tyneside hospital boss Lorraine Lambert took some very special guests when she was invited to a garden party at Buckingham Palace.
The chief executive of South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust – whose son Jamie is one of the stars of the hit band Collabro – was accompanied to the event by the whole group.
Mrs Lambert, from Washington, took her 24-year-old son and daughter, Caitlin, 22, a fourth-year medical student, into the garden party.
But the rest of the band – Michael Auger, Richard Hadfield, Thomas J Redgrave and Matt Pagan – made the journey to the palace, in the heart of London, to pose for pictures with Lorraine, dressed appropriately in Union flag waistcoats.
Mrs Lambert said it was a “tremendous honour” to be invited to the royal residence.
Jamie had a job in the supplies department at South Tyneside District Hospital and then in finance with the NHS in London before finding fame last year and winning Britain’s Got Talent with the group.
Mrs Lambert was invited to the gathering for being among the longest-serving chief executives in the NHS and was one of the youngest women to be appointed to the role nationally when she took up a position in Sunderland in 1992.
When she retires in September this year, she will have given 36 years of service to the NHS.
Her passion for the organisation she views as the ‘finest institution in the world’ was inspired by her mother, who was a nurse.
She said: “It was a great privilege to be invited to attend the royal garden party.
I was incredibly proud to have Jamie and Catilin by my side and it is a memory we will treasure all of our lives.Lorraine Lambert
“I was incredibly proud to have Jamie and Caitlin by my side and it is a memory we will treasure all of our lives.
“We were delighted to be presented to Princess Beatrice, as Collabro performed last year at the Duchess of York’s charity event at Windsor Castle. We chatted about that and also about the importance of the NHS and she wished Caitlin well in her studies.”