As royal Mail’s longest serving employee ever, Bob Hartley has met the Queen hundreds of thousands of times - albeit only via the stamps that have passed through his hands over his decades of service.
But yesterday, (April 20) the 68-year old made a very special personal delivery to Her Majesty - a bouquet of flowers to mark her 90th birthday.
Bob, from Chapeltown, met the Queen at Royal Mail’s Windsor Delivery Office, which has been newly renamed the Queen Elizabeth Delivery Office.
The great-grandad was just 15 when he started out in the postal trade. He has now served 53 years and five months. He still works at Leeds Mail Centre processing mail during the late shift.
Mr Hartley said: “My own family’s connections with Royal Mail date back three generations as both my father and grandfather also worked for the business.
“That’s a total of over 100 years’ service. I also met my partner at Royal Mail so you could say it’s in my blood!
“I was therefore very proud to be chosen to present the Queen with a bouquet on this historic occasion.”
Speaking after his special Royal appointment, Bob joked that he had already met Her Majesty “many a time” in stamp form. “It’s been a nice day,” he said. “We were going to hand the flowers over inside but because it was so sunny they decided to do it outside. I just handed the flowers to her and said it was on behalf of Royal Mail.”
He added: “I respect the fact that she has done the job for so long. She is dedicated and even at 90 she is still going strong.”