The Queen’s chimney sweeps spoke of the ‘tremendous honour’ they felt to serve and meet the late monarch.
Kevin Giddings and his team at Crawley Down-based Milborrow Chimney Sweeps have been tending chimneys and fires at royal residences including Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle, St James’s Palace and Kensington Palace since 2002, when the company received a Royal Warrant from the Queen. .
The company also received a Royal Warrant from the then Prince of Wales to deal with the chimneys and fires at Highgrove.
And Milborrow’s sister company Croydon Fireplaces, owned by Mr and Mrs Gidding’s son Ben, works ‘hand in hand’ with the company on royal projects.
During his 20 years of service, Mr Giddings was presented to the Queen six times and also met King Charles when he was Prince of Wales, as well as the late Duke of Edinburgh.
The businessman also met the Queen while working in the palaces.
Katie Giddings, Kevin’s wife, said it was a “privilege” to receive the royal warrant.
“It was absolutely breathtaking,” she said.
“It was a huge honor and privilege.
“The Royal Family look after their Royal Warrant Holders extremely well.
“My husband was introduced to Her Majesty six times and each time she spoke to him.
“She was an incredibly knowledgeable woman who even spoke to the chimney sweep about her job and made her feel very important.
“He is absolutely honored and delighted that the Queen recognized him as her chimney sweep and on one occasion there was a reception we were at at Buckingham Palace and the Queen pointed out to my husband and said it was my chimney sweep.
“When you are a Royal Warrant Holder you are a member of the Royal Warrant Association, which looks after Royal Warrant Holders and organizes various events and functions.
“Often members of the royal family attend these events.
“My husband sat at the same table as the late Duke of Edinburgh and we were introduced three times, as he was then, to the Prince of Wales.
“He treats his royal warrant holders in an incredibly personal way.”
The company is now waiting to hear whether its Royal Warrant will be renewed to King Charles III, who has the final say on any Royal Warrant renewals.
“We have two years to continue using Her Majesty The Queen’s warrant and during those two years all warrants will be reviewed and either re-issued to Her Majesty or withdrawn,” Ms Giddings said.
Ms Giddings spoke of the family’s ‘devastation’ at the Queen’s death and wished King Charles ‘all the luck in the world’.
“Like the rest of the world, we are absolutely devastated by the loss of Her Majesty and wish Her Majesty all the luck in the world for her stroke of luck for her future reign.
“We are confident he will do a great job,” she said.