A LEIGH woman was party to an exclusive group at Buckingham Palace where she swapped tips on how to plan a right royal party for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

Gwen Cook joined nine other Big Lunch organisers from across the UK at Buckingham Palace Gardens, hosted by comedian Mel Giedroyc.

The event started the party planning for the Big Jubilee Lunch celebrations which will take place from June 2 to June 5.

Gwen has been holding Big Lunches for many years with her husband Alan, offering the chance for neighbours to come together once a year to share food and fun.

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She also runs Just Ride Southend accessible cycling project and is planning a Big Jubilee Lunch at Just Ride in Garon Park on June 4, as well as a community Big Jubilee Lunch with her neighbours on June 5.

Gwen said: “It has been an absolutely fantastic day.

“It was really good fun and has made me get really excited about our own Big Jubilee lunch this June.

“We have already had our first meeting, so we are planning a great celebration this summer.”

More than 12 million people across the UK are expected to mark the Queen’s 70 years on the throne with Big Jubilee Lunch street parties and community celebrations.

At Buckingham Place the team discussed what people in every street can bring to the table as well as sharing their own ideas.

Speaking at Buckingham Palace, Mel Giedroyc added: “I am thrilled by all the fantastic top tips I have heard.

“It has been a joy to share this special moment with these inspiring people here in the Buckingham Palace Gardens.

“The Big Jubilee Lunch is something that everyone can be part of, it is about having fun and making connections.”

Peter Stewart, executive director of the Big Lunch initiative, said: “The Big Lunch has been bringing neighbours and communities together on the first weekend in June for over a decade and what an extra special year 2022 is going to be.

“With only two months to go until a once in a lifetime event, now is the time to gather your neighbours, rally your road, and get ready to celebrate this historic moment together.”