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Touching tribute by Coventry kid Billy; THE QUEEN MOTHER 1900-2002.

Byline: HAYLEY CUTHBERTSON

A COVENTRY kid who became one of the Queen Mother's favourite aides has paid tribute to the woman he served for more than half a century.

Billy Tallon, aged 66, royal steward and Page of the Backstairs, emerged yesterday to look at floral tributes at Clarence House.

Billy - nicknamed Backstairs Billy - said he was "touched" by the warm response.

Paying tribute to the Queen Mother, he said: "She was the most remarkable person who ever lived. She was absolutely wonderful - there is no other word to describe her. It is heartbreaking.

"I hope I was a good retainer to her. I worked for her for 51 years."

Billy, who grew up in Norman Place Road, Coundon, went to work at Buckingham Palace at the age of 16 after leaving the former Barker Butts secondary modern school.

After completing his national service, he was posted to work for the Queen Mother.

Last year he was named in the Queen's birthday honours list, and awarded a gold Royal Victoria Medal for exceptional service to the royal household.

His duty was to attend to the Queen Mother's personal needs, including serving at table, booking medical appointments, tending the Faberge collection and buying and wrapping presents.

He worked long days, often finishing at 11pm, and was most visible when guests came to see the Queen Mother, welcoming generations of the Royal Family to her home.

Prince Charles has said will take care of Billy and other long-serving domestic staff.

CAPTION(S):

HEARTBREAKING: Royal aide Billy Tallon looks at the flowers left outside Clarence House
COPYRIGHT 2002 Coventry Newpapers
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2002 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Apr 2, 2002
Words:263
Previous Article:Grasping the nettle over the tenants from hell.
Next Article:Thank you for being with us in war time; THE QUEEN MOTHER 1900-2002.


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