Former royal coffee maid to celebrate her 90th year with The Queen

Eighty-nine-year-old Rosa Snaith will be taking a trip down memory lane when she attends a royal garden party at Buckingham Palace later this month.

The soon-to-be nonagenarian from High Wycombe worked as a coffee maid during the reign of King George VI and was employed at the Palace from 1944 to 1950. In her role Rosa would accompany the royal party everywhere they went and travelled to Balmoral, Sandringham and Windsor during her time there.

Mrs Snaith, who shares her 90th birthday year with HM The Queen, has been invited to attend a Buckingham Palace Garden Party on Tuesday 24 May with her daughter.

Mrs Snaith holds many fond memories of her time working in the royal household, from dancing with the King at a ball at Balmoral to being personally cared for by the King’s rather dashing equerry after being slightly injured in a fire drill at Sandringham. One of Rosa’s favourites is the memory of holding HRH Prince Charles’ hand when he was just a few days old.

“Staff were treated with great respect by the Royal family”, Rosa remembers: “The King and Queen always took an avid interest in our wellbeing.” On one occasion Rosa can recall, she had to return from Sandringham to Buckingham Palace two days ahead of the Royals to help prepare for a garden party. It wasn’t simply a case of upping and leaving, Rosa was treated to a cooked breakfast by the King’s chef, was chauffeur-driven to the station and was allowed to board the train at the special station in Sandringham which is normally only used by the Royals themselves.

Buckingham Palace was also where Rosa Edwards, as she was known then, met her husband, Gerald Snaith who was a Coldstream Guard. The couple married in 1950 and were both offered jobs at the Palace but instead took the decision to move back to Gerald’s home town of High Wycombe to start their married life.

Rosa explained how much she was looking forward to going back to the Palace. She said: “I am so excited. I will be 90 years old this year too, so in many ways it feels like I grew up with the Queen and watched her grow into an amazing woman. I’m very proud of my time working for the royals. This really is a wonderful honour”.

Sir Henry Aubrey-Fletcher, Lord Lieutenant of Buckinghamshire said: “What a delightful story. Rosa clearly has many treasured memories of her time working for the Royal family and it is wonderful that she has the opportunity to return to Buckingham Palace as she approaches her own 90th birthday to share in the celebrations to mark the 90th birthday of HM The Queen.”