AS one of the country's top models, Helen Connor was used to meeting famous people.

But nothing could prepare her for the first time the Queen walked into the London studio where she was working.

Helen laughs about that special occasion several decades ago as she relaxes in a chair in the gazebo of the garden at The Rectory Care Home in Taunton, where she now lives.

She says: "I was very nervous and I nearly fainted when she called me Helen.

"The Queen used to come to the place where I modelled and I met her a number of times.

"She was so sweet and nice.

"I never met her socially, just through my work.

"She called me Helen, but I had to call her Ma'am.

"I didn't speak to her unless she spoke to me first."

The Queen's visit were for her to be able to check out the clothes worn by Helen and the other models and select what she wanted to buy.

"She would say, 'How does that feel Helen?'," recalls the former model, now aged 88.

"She touched the clothing I was wearing and she was thinking of 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 was coming to buy some clothes and she just happened to be the Queen.

"It was lovely meeting her. It seems a bit weird thinking about it, but she has her clothes like everyone else.

"But they were lovely, spectacular days.

"It would be lovely to meet the Queen again, but I shouldn't think she would remember me though."

Helen, who also met Princess Margaret on at least one occasion, originally trained to become a scientist, earning £4 a week in London.

"Then an agent came along and asked me how much I was earning," adds Helen.

"I looked at him as it was a bit of a rude question, but he said I could earn a lot more money as a model.

"It was a wonderful time. Everyone had such glamorous clothes."

Helen was in great demand for modelling assignments in her heyday and a photograph of her taken by one of the time's top snappers Norman Parkinson appeared on the front cover of Vogue.

She later moved to Wincanton and has more recently been happily living in Taunton.

A confirmed Royalist and patriot, she is looking forward to a Platinum Jubilee party with fellow residents and staff at the Rectory Care Home.