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The two days in June 2002 when members of Descendants met and performed in front of The Queen during her Golden Jubilee year

Members of Acton-based Descendants are remembering with deep fondness the two days in June 2002 when children and adults met and had the honour of performing for Queen Elizabeth II during her Golden Jubilee year at Gunnersbury Park in Acton and The Mall, outside Buckingham Palace.

Margaret Noel, one of the co-founders of Descendents, told EALING.NEWS that many dozens of children took part in the two special days in 2002: “For the opportunity on 4 June to perform in front of the Queen and Royal Family on The Mall, there were 32 children who danced and drummed. A group of parents joined with singer Patti Boulaye as part of a 5000 strong choir singing on The Mall. For the event in Gunnersbury on 24 June, there were 25 children along with eight volunteers.”

Descendants, which is located at Acton Gardens Community Centre, is a history and arts-focused organisation aimed at children and young people aged 4-16 with a focus on African and Caribbean culture.

As one of the children who took part, Monique Allen, now a married mum with two boys, remembers it well.  She told EALING.NEWS: “It was an honour to perform, meet and talk to HRH the Queen, as a member of Descendants children’s group.”

Collette Noel, Descendants’ Dance Director told EALING.NEWS about her personal experience. “It was an amazing feeling knowing you were part of the Royal Celebration. I will never forget being a part of the Queens Golden Jubilee Celebrations on the 4th June 2002. Leading the 5000 strong choir with Patti Boulaye Sundancer group down the Mall to Buckingham Palace.”

Ms Noel added: “Then a few weeks later Descendants children got the opportunity to meet and speak to The Queen when she visited Gunnersbury Park. As she came close to the children, they became shy, everyone froze. She was so close and personal. She beamed at us. We were dressed in gold just like the Queen. I broke the silence by letting her know that we had taken part in the Golden Jubilee Parade on The Mall. She asked me about the walk and the children told her about their dancing down The Mall and inside the palace. A memorable day for all the children and volunteers of Descendants.”

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