A royal hello worth one million pounds

By Dean Taylor

It was big news in the UK - the day HRH Queen Elizabeth II visited The Bank of England - and it was big news for Te Awamutu born Lydia Anso as well.

It has become a British tradition for Her Majesty to visit The Bank of England (the equivalent of our Reserve Bank) during the eight year term of each Bank Governor.

The latest visit was in December last year, on the very day one of its employees was flying home to have Christmas with her family in Te Awamutu.

But that didn't stop Miss Anso from taking the opportunity to come face-to-face with the reigning monarch when she was chosen as one of the representatives for her department.

Each department at the bank was asked to nominate staff to meet the Queen.

Her Majesty would visit the department and the chosen representatives would stand in a semi-circle while the manager explained their role.

Miss Anso was elated to have been chosen.

"I'm a bit of a royalist, so I wasn't going to miss the chance to meet her," says Miss Anso.

"She was lovely - very sweet - and had the kindest smile.

"I was in a group of three girls and she came up and had a brief conversation.

"To be honest I was so star-struck I don't think I said much."

The visit concluded with a short speech from the Governor, Sir Mervyn King, and the Queen signed a £1 million note.

Miss Anso left New Zealand and began her working career with Shell as a temp.

She says she was employed in a range of areas and enjoyed the experience, and the company which was culturally diverse.

It was word of mouth that landed her a job in IT at The Bank of England.

Miss Anso says the Bank looks after England's gold reserves, sets monetary policy, prints money and contributes to protecting and enhancing the stability of England's financial system.

The IT department looks after budgets and monitors spending.

Miss Anso says while they are essentially public servants, the Bank is not politically motivated.

It is a highly secure environment, and to be employed requires the applicant to meet the highest standards and pass rigorous background checks.

Miss Anso says it is an interesting job and a great place to work.

And while she was pleased to be home for summer, being with family and travelling and catching up with friends, she loves living in London and fully embraces the big city lifestyle.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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