Queen’s death sparks fond but poignant memories for mother and daughter

The Queen’s death has sparked fond but poignant memories for one Birmingham mother and daughter who found themselves centre stage during the Monarch’s last and final visit to the city.

Sophie Allison and her daughter Taahlia, who was just four-years-old at the time, personally greeted the Queen, handing her a bouquet of flowers during the visit.
The Queen was in Birmingham to officially name one of the West Midlands Metro trams after Angus Adams, a former chairman of Centro, the region’s then transport authority. 

Sophie worked as the operations manager for West Midlands Metro and was asked, along with Taahlia, to help represent the organisation during the official visit in November 2015. Sophie, who is now commercial director of West Midlands Metro, said:

“I felt honoured to meet the Queen, she has been such an inspiration to many people. It was a really proud moment to see my daughter present Her Majesty with the flowers and the photograph takes pride of place in our home.” 
Taahlia, now 11 and a pupil at St Paul’s School for Girls in Edgbaston, added: “I was a little nervous because there were lots of people waiting to see the Queen but she was really kind.
“I remember feeling excited when I saw we were both wearing my favourite colour pink.”
Sophie and Taahlia were among a large crowd who defied heavy rain to cheer the Queen, accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh, at the Metro stop in the city centre’s Bull Street.
The crowd applauded as she named a tram after Cllr Adams who had been a key figure behind the £128 million Midland Metro extension from Snow Hill station to New Street station, before his sudden death in 2012.
The Monarch was then given a tour of the tram where she met workers behind the city centre extension, and even got in the driving seat herself for a look around the cab. She was fittingly dressed in fuscia pink coat and hat, a close match to the branding colour of the trams.
Among those to speak with the Queen was Nicky Haigh, who was West Midlands Metro’s head of engagement with businesses and communities along the route of the extension, responsible for keeping them updated on progress. The Queen asked about the job and Nicky explained that some businesses had found the construction work on their doorstep frustrating. Nicky said:

“She was wonderful, and it was a real privilege to meet and speak with her. When she appeared in that tram pink coat, so beautiful and just perfect, I was like a small child.
“I will always treasure that memory, she made me feel proud to be working on that project.”
Earlier, the Queen had officially opened the redeveloped New Street railway station and accompanying Grand Central shopping centre as cheering crowds packed the new station concourse.


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