Reanne’s Royal Occasion
Reanne Evans was honoured to present certificates at the Duke of Edinburgh Awards Scheme last month, though she admits it was the most nerve-racking experience of her life.
Evans must be considered the queen of ladies snooker having won the World Championship ten times, so it was appropriate that she was invited to St James Palace, where England’s sovereigns lived for over 300 years before Queen Victoria decided to move next door to Buckingham Palace in 1837.
The occasion was a presentation for the Duke of Edinburgh Awards, a charity founded in 1956 by Prince Philip with the intention to help young people develop their life and career skills. Evans joined the likes of polar explorer Inge Solheim and mathematician Carol Vorderman in presenting certificates to Gold Award winners.
“I was thrilled to be invited, it’s a great honour,” said 29-year-old Evans. “But then a couple of weeks later I found out I would have to give a speech to the award winners. Obviously I’ve done a lot of interviews over the years but never any public speaking like this. I was very nervous and only wrote the speech the night before because I wanted it to be fresh in my mind.
“On the day, we were shown around all of the rooms, and when we got to the biggest one the guide told me this was the one where I was presenting! It turned out there were 200 people there and the other rooms only had around 80. I can’t remember anything about my speech, but both my cousin and one of the VIPs told me it had gone well.
“After that I met Prince Edward, he asked me if I play against male players, and when I told him I’ve beaten some of them he said ‘good.’ Overall it was a great experience and the palace was an amazing place. There were paintings which were bigger than my house.”