A volunteer chosen to go to a royal garden party says her outing was wonderful.

Diane Stedman, from Frinton Road in Kirby Cross, was nominated to go to the event at Buckingham Palace through her work with Disability Essex.

The 58-year-old, who is severely visually impaired herself, went with friend and Thorpe parish councillor, Ray Crystal.

She said the day got off to a rocky start with the traffic.

"It took us an hour and a half to get to London and then the same to go six miles once we got there!" said Diane, who also took her Papillon assistance dog Tansey.

"But we weren't late because we'd set off with plenty of time."

The pair enjoyed food and drink inside the palace following by a stroll round the grounds, where they saw the Queen having lunch with some fellow royals.

"We didn't have a chance to chat to her though," said Diane, who has volunteered with Disability Essex for 18 months.

"It's quite hard to get close to her, but we enjoyed talking to lots of other people.

"The best part was seeing everyone's wonderful outfits."

She added: "If there's a chance to go next year I'd like to be top of the list!"