Helen Connor recalls modeling clothes for the Queen
As one of the country’s top models, Helen Connor used to date famous people.
But nothing could prepare her for the first time the Queen walked into the London studio where she worked.
Helen laughs at that special occasion decades ago as she relaxes in a chair in the garden gazebo at the Rectory Care Home in Taunton, where she now lives.
She says: “I was very nervous and almost fainted when she called me Helen.
“The Queen used to come to where I was modeling and I met her several times.
“She was so sweet and kind.
“I’ve never met her socially, just through my work.
“She called me Helen, but I had to call her Madame.
“I didn’t speak to her unless she spoke to me first.”
The Queen’s visit was for her to be able to check out the clothes worn by Helen and the other models and to select what she wanted to buy.
“She was like, ‘How’s that, Helen? “Recalls the former model, now 88 years old.
“She touched the clothes I was wearing and thought she was buying.
“It was good that she came to the place where I worked.
“But I got used to it. It was our job.
“When you’re a model, that’s what you do. You walk up and down and show people clothes.
“She was a nice woman who came to buy clothes and she happened to be the queen.
“It was lovely meeting her. It seems a little weird to think about, but she has her clothes on like everyone else.
“But they were beautiful and spectacular days.
“It would be nice to see the Queen again, but I shouldn’t think she would remember me.”
Helen, who also met Princess Margaret on at least one occasion, was initially trained to be a scientist, earning £4 a week in London.
“Then an agent came and asked me how much I made,” adds Helen.
“I looked at him because it was a bit of a rude question, but he said I could make a lot more money as a model.
“It was a wonderful moment. Everyone had such glamorous clothes on.”
Helen was in high demand for modeling assignments in her heyday and a picture of her taken by one of the era’s top snappers, Norman Parkinson, appeared on the cover of Vogue.
She later moved to Wincanton and has more recently lived happily in Taunton.
A confirmed royalist and patriot, she looks forward to a platinum jubilee party with her fellow residents and staff at Rectory Care Home.