the Changing of the Guard. ‘My cousin put her head through to get a better view and I did the same, but when it came [time] to take it out I couldn’t,’ she recalls. ‘I started to cry and they sent for the fire brigade.’Eventually she wriggled free, but a part of her remained forever ensconced just beyond the palace gates.Martin is now 65 and a dedicated collector of royal memorabilia.
Cherished among her collection of hundreds of items (she has long stopped counting) are those produced to celebrate various jubilees – including a Golden Jubilee tin of biscuits with all the Commonwealth countries ringed around the outside, and a Ruby Jubilee bone-china cup and saucer she bought at Osborne House on the Isle of Wight, a favourite spot of Queen Victoria’s. ‘I’ve no idea how much I’ve spent,’ says Martin, a former nurse. ‘It’s all been worth it so it doesn’t matter.’Her favourite piece is the first she ever received: The Country Life Book of the Royal Silver Jubilee, written by Patrick Montague-Smith and illustrated with photographs celebrating 25 years of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign.
It was a gift from her parents when she was 20. Like most mass-produced jubilee memorabilia, it is not worth much in monetary terms – you can currently buy a used copy on Amazon for just over £1.
But for Martin it is the jewel in the crown of her collection. ‘That is the thing I treasure the most.’Commemorative items have long been churned out to celebrate significant moments in royal life.Read more on telegraph.co.uk