The red carpet was rolled out, the champagne was poured and the butlers were ready.
But it wasn’t the Queen that staff at the Royal Yacht Britannia were expecting – it was Betty Landells, who won a competition to be treated like Her Majesty for the day.
The 90-year-old, from Dalkeith, was chauffeur-driven to Leith where she was greeted by her family, before embarking on a private tour of the yacht through the Royal Brow – the Queen’s exclusive entrance.
After walking along the red carpet and being presented with a bouquet of flowers, Betty was then served a champagne lunch in the Royal Deck Tea Room.
“It was a day I will never forget”, she said. “I really felt like the Queen, it was absolutely glorious, everyone was so kind.
“I think being given the chance to walk on the red carpet was one of my favourite parts and my family being there made it even more special.
“I’ve admired the Queen for years so to be served in the way she is was a privilege.”
Her granddaughter, Suzanne Landells, 25, heard that the Royal Yacht Britannia was looking for a 90-year-old lady to treat like a Queen for the day – in celebration of the monarch’s milestone birthday.
Suzanne, a teacher at Gorebridge Primary, wasted no time writing a thoughtful poem about her “granny” on why she deserved this treat and sent it to the competition organisers.
Suzanne said: “As soon as I heard about the competition, I knew my granny would love that experience – she’s such a fan of the Queen. But I never expected to win.
“Describing her in just 200 words was such a difficult task as she is just the perfect little granny, so that’s why I came up with the idea of a poem about her.”
She added: “She had such a lovely day and got her hair done especially for the occasion. It’s definitely something she will remember for ever. I’m pleased I got to go with her, too.
“We had champagne afternoon tea and the staff even let her sit in the Queen’s drawing room which she loved – I couldn’t thank them enough.
“At the time she was in a bit of a daze and speechless but she’s absolutely over the moon.”
Betty’s visit to the yacht comes just days after the Queen visited the Capital. We reported how she dropped into the Sheep Heid Inn in Duddingston, Scotland’s oldest pub, for dinner.
A spokeswoman for the Royal Yacht Britannia said: “We were all looking forward to welcoming our very deserving winner, Betty and her granddaughter, Suzanne, who nominated her granny for a special day out on Britannia.
“As the Queen’s former floating palace, the Royal Yacht is famous for making sure that every guest enjoys the best possible experience on board as they would have while the yacht was in service to the Queen and royal family.
“Our aim was to make sure Betty and Suzanne had a royal day out to remember forever.”