During a recent MBE ceremony, Lake District charity fundraiser Steve Watts had the privilege of engaging in a poignant conversation with King Charles. The profound nature of their interaction left a lasting impression on Steve, as he reflected on their encounter during an interview with The Mail. The overwhelming emotions that accompanied this once-in-a-lifetime experience led Steve to question its authenticity, remarking, “I’m still wondering if it really happened.”
One of the highlights of Steve’s conversation with King Charles was the monarch’s heartfelt interest in Steve’s time spent protecting the late Queen Elizabeth II. The King affectionately referred to her as “Mama,” evoking a sense of maternal warmth. This endearing term, usually reserved for memories of his own mother, added a personal touch to their exchange. The shared connection between Steve and the King was further strengthened as they jovially reminisced about Steve’s role as a guard, protecting the King’s beloved “Mama.”
Steve’s passion for photography and fell running became evident during the challenging period of lockdown. He captured the beauty of the Lake District through his daily photographs, which he shared on various social media platforms. The popularity of his images proved that social media can have a positive impact, as people in care homes found solace in witnessing the breathtaking landscapes. Steve’s dedication to his art and his altruistic motives shine through as he describes photography as his “daily tonic.”
In addition to his charitable acts, Steve has undertaken remarkable endeavors to raise funds for various causes. Notably, he ran from Lands End to John O’Groats and helped raise £1 million for the first CT scanner for children in the North West. His fell running journey began in 1979, after leaving the Grenadier Guards. It is a testament to Steve’s tenacity and unwavering determination that he has accomplished these extraordinary feats. The shared sense of humor between Steve and King Charles was evident when the King jokingly inquired whether Steve would be running back to the Lakes, showcasing the King’s own wit.
Motherly affection has always been a significant aspect of Queen Elizabeth II’s life. King Charles affectionately refers to her as “Mummy,” adding a lighthearted touch in various instances. Prince George lovingly referred to the Queen as “Gan Gan,” showcasing the Queen’s love for her family. The regal nickname “Lilibet” is a testament to the endearment shown by the late Queen’s parents, a name carried forward by her beloved late husband, Prince Philip. These cherished family nicknames add a personal and relatable aspect to the monarchy.
The Grenadier Guards, one of the oldest regiments, is renowned for their unwavering determination, loyalty, and grit. The Battalion trooped the color at Queen Elizabeth II’s birthday parade in 2019, showcasing their essential role in upholding tradition. They further exemplified their dedication in September 2022, when they provided the Bearer Party for Her Majesty’s funeral. The Grenadier Guards’ commitment to duty and resilience have earned them a distinguished reputation within the British Army.
The encounter between Steve Watts and King Charles during the MBE ceremony was undoubtedly a profound and memorable experience. Their conversations, infused with affection and humor, served as a reminder of the shared humanity and interconnectedness we all possess. Steve’s passion for photography and fell running, King Charles’ endearing nicknames for Queen Elizabeth II, and the Grenadier Guards’ unwavering dedication all contribute to the rich tapestry that is the British monarchy. Such interactions offer glimpses of the personal lives of our beloved royal family, reminding us of their relatability and the human connections they foster.