Royal applause for talented South Yorkshire teenage cellist

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The Diamond Jubilee celebrations gave a talented youngster a once-in-a lifetime experience - to perform for the Queen in Westminster Hall.

James Castle, aged 13, from Eckington, who is a cellist and pupil at Mount St Mary’s College in Spinkhill, is part of the National Children’s Orchestra, and helped to make up its 114-strong ensemble that entertained the Royal Family at a special lunch.

“We performed for over two hours for the Queen and her guests,” said James. “At the end we were given a standing ovation which was really nice.”

Among the attendees was Rotherham glass firm Beatson Clark apprentice Matt Lee, who was one of 700 guests from all over the UK whose professions were represented by different livery companies.

As well as dining with the Queen, Matt, aged 19, was also with Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge William and Kate, and Prince Harry.

“It was a great honour and a privilege to be invited,” said Matt, who sat near to Prince Charles at the lunch. “It really was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.” Matt completed 14 weeks of basic engineering training at Brinsworth Training Centre in Rotherham.