It's party time at the Palace

PUBLISHED: 14:10 29 June 2006 | UPDATED: 14:44 12 May 2010

Lauren Buchan was among the party guests.

Lauren Buchan was among the party guests.

THREE youngsters from Crow country encountered a cast of classic children s characters - and The Queen on Sunday. They were among thousands of youngsters who attended the Children s Literature Party in the grounds of Buckingham Palace to celebrate the Que

Matthew Baker gets into the spirit of the event.

THREE youngsters from Crow country encountered a cast of classic children's characters - and The Queen on Sunday.

They were among thousands of youngsters who attended the Children's Literature Party in the grounds of Buckingham Palace to celebrate the Queen's 80th birthday.

Matthew Baker, four, of Monks Walk, Buntingford , Lauren Buchan, 13, of High Street, Bassingbourn and Lucy Vines, nine, of Elbourn Way, Bassingbourn, were picked to attend the garden party from a ballot.

In the grounds they met a host of characters including Harry Potter and Winnie-the-Pooh.

Lucy Vine with her brother and a couple of other guests’.

There was a Mad Hatter's tea party and a show about the Queen losing her handbag.

Some of the celebrities in the pantomime-style play included, Ronnie Corbett, Martin Clunes, Sophie Dahl, Patsy Kensit and Tracey Beaker.

When the handbag had been found the Queen said: "I am delighted to have my handbag back, I do like happy endings."

The Queen told the young auidence: "British children's literature has been for many years an extraordinary success story. I'm glad we've been able to celebrate this great achievement here at Buckingham Palace."

Matthew Baker won a place to have tea with the Queen after his uncle applied on-line.

Helen Baker, Matthew's mum, said: "We were shocked when we found out, because we never win things.

"We had a lovely time, but Matthew didn't understand the significance of it.

"He was, however, excited and especially liked Thomas the Tank Engine, but there was so much to see and not enough time because the gardens were so extensive.

"We did have a lovely picnic. One of the main attractions was the authors corner where JK Rowling and Raymond Briggs were signing autographs."

Matthew and Helen also got the chance to see the Queen.

Helen said: "Before the event we had to keep watching programmes on television which the Queen featured in, because Matthew usually watches programmes like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs."

Lucy Vine, who attends St Mary's School in Royston, celebrated the Queen's birthday with her seven-year-old brother and mum.

Lucy's mum, Mandy, said: "The highlight for Lucy was meeting JK Rowling.

Mandy said: "The atmosphere was lovely and the pantomime-play they staged was very entertaining and enjoyable because there was so many characters and famous faces."

Lauren Buchan, of Greneway School, Royston, got the chance to visit Buckingham Palace after her mum Sam, applied on the CBBC website. Sam said: "It was a one-off occasion and nice to know that people from this area were chosen too."

# Thriplow Primary School also held a garden party for pupils on Friday.

Pupils sang songs, wrote poems, took part in a competition to design a birthday cake, and planted a tree to honour the Queen's birthday.

Senior citizens were invited to join in with the celebrations.

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