Working as a barista at Scotland's Balmoral Castle, Married at First Sight NZ groom James Hardy didn't expect to meet the Queen – and when he did, the 29-year-old didn't recognise her!
The Christchurch-based telecommunications technician scored the job three years ago after applying for the role on classifieds website Gumtree and worked there for nine months.
"You don't ever expect to bump into her," he laughs, adding that she was wandering in the gardens at the time.
"I probably turned into a nervous wreck, but it was a good experience."
The pair had "the small chat you have with someone when you first meet them", with Her Majesty asking his name, role in the castle and about his home country.
"She said she was a big fan of New Zealand – I don't know if she was just saying that because I'm a Kiwi, but she did say it was a lovely place," recalls James, who has also worked for the Sultan of Oman in France.
And there was an even bigger surprise to come. "She's got a terrific memory. The next time I met her she knew who I was, which was quite a strange feeling!"
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