EXCLUSIVE: Unicorn World Champion Ambassador John Lowe gives a fascinating behind the scenes insight, as he visited Buckingham Palace to receive his MBE
Going to Buckingham Palace to receive my MBE was and will be one of the most memorable days of my life, I have long time been an admirer and supporter of the Royal Family, I used to imagine going through those gates into the Palace with hundreds of people looking through the railings, never did I realise one day I would drive through into the quadrangle in 301 UP.
I was not disappointed, it was indeed the start of a truly amazing experience, the gates opened the security banner lowered and the guard waved us through. I was accompanied by Karen, my wife, Adrian, my son, and Karen my daughter in law, we was separated on arrival, guests into the Ballroom were the inauguration would take place, recipients into a large waiting room were majestic paintings adorned the walls, many of them Rembrandt's.
A short briefing took place and then we chatted freely, people who had never met before, all here for the same reason, recognition for their contribution to many different walks of life, I found myself in the company of David Dein, Arsenals Vice Chairman for many years, Nicholas Mason, Pink Floyd's Drummer said Hi, Richard Stanton, the guy who was part of the rescue of those trapped in the flooded cave in Thailand joined us, Imelda McGucken from Ireland came to say her father was a big darts fan, and supported me for many years, then it was time to slowly make the walk to the entrance to the Grand Ballroom.
From the door you could see the Duke of Cambridge just a few feet away attaching the awards and then having a chat with the recipient, I have to say I was not one little bit nervous, in fact I have been more nervous walking to the stage at Lakeside, it was my turn, "Mr John Lowe to be given the MBE for services to Darts and Charity" I walked forward bowed to the Prince, and an extended chat began.
He was very personal, wanting to know my involvement with charity, I told him I had my own golf day in Tenerife which raised funds for AMATE Breast Cancer Care Tenerife, and back home I have been involved with Macmillan, I told him I new his good friend Graham Craker (he was the bodyguard to the Prince's for many years) and he asked me to pass his good wishes to Graham, he then said to me "I am pleased that you have been recognised for your darting contribution" we shook hands, I bowed and left with a great feeling of pride.
Proud for my Family, my Friends, Unicorn, who really are Family, and for the sport of darts, I am sure this honour will help cement the reputation and recognition for the sport of darts not just in the UK, but Globally.