An Argus columnist was among 500 people chosen by the King to attend a coronation garden party at Buckingham Palace.

Geoff Stonebanks, from Bishoptone, writes the newspaper's gardening column and was rewarded for his community volunteering work with an invitation to one of the coronation events.

He has been raising money for Macmillan Cancer Support since 2012 through garden visits, topping £100,000.

The writer chose a trip to Buckingham Palace on May 9 as his prize, having been wowed by the gardens during a previous visit.

Though this time thunderstorms and rains were the order of the day according to The Met office, and there were even signs on entering the palace warning visitors not to shelter under the trees in a lightning storm.

The Argus: Geoff chatted to Prince WilliamGeoff chatted to Prince William (Image: Submitted)

But Geoff had the weather on his side and managed to enjoy a day among royalty without a single drop of rain falling from the sky until right at the end of the event.

Some 8,000 guests joined the party in the presence of the Prince and Princess of Wales, the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh, the Princess Royal and the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester.

Geoff said: "I was extremely lucky to have attended a garden party back in 2018, when both Camilla and Charles were hosting, so was not too disappointed when they were not in attendance.

“Having never seen the current Prince and Princess of Wales or the newly-named Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh, it was a delight to see them and actually get the chance to talk to both William and Edward.

The Argus: Geoff enjoying his afternoon teaGeoff enjoying his afternoon tea (Image: Submitted)

“Both were so easy to talk with and William particularly engaged with visitors and posed for pictures.

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“The gardens at the palace were a delight to walk around with lots of pretty spring colour.

“Aside from meeting and seeing the Royal Family, the highlight had to be the delicious afternoon tea served to all visitors. Each guest able to make their choice from a wide selection of savoury and pastry items.”

Geoff also received a certificate and pin badge in recognition of his community work which he is proudly displaying at his home.