We were invited to Buckingham Palace to receive the UK’s highest award for business.
We have helped to grow clients in 34 countries in 11 languages, and our team members are based in 6 countries. But we originated in the UK, and so we were thrilled to receive the UK’s highest award for business, and to be invited to Buckingham Palace to meet Her Majesty The Queen.
The award—a Queen’s Award for Enterprise—was given to us in recognition of us “codifying the scientific methodology that companies like Google, Facebook and Apple now use to improve websites.”
Here’s the email we received (we were stunned by it):
The reception at Buckingham Palace
Our company was represented at Buckingham Palace by our founders, Ben Jesson and Dr Karl Blanks. They arrived by taxi. (It’s surreal to get into a taxi and say, “Buckingham Palace, please.”) They entered the palace via the iconic route used for royal weddings and state events: through the main gates, past the Queen’s guards, through the palace’s central archway, and then onto the red carpet of the Grand Entrance.
The event was held in Buckingham Palace’s State Rooms, where The Queen entertains international dignitaries.
Our founders, Karl and Ben, in the palace’s White Room. Pictured far left is Queen Victoria’s golden grand piano (which was last played by Stevie Wonder).
Inside, Ben and Karl were fortunate to meet Her Majesty the Queen; Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh; Princess Anne, The Princess Royal; and Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex—with whom they had the opportunity to discuss diverse issues including teaching technology in schools; working internationally; making websites accessible; and helping charities online.
The Queen greeted us in her Picture Gallery, home to masterpieces by Titian, Rembrandt, Rubens, Vermeer and Van Dyck.
The Duke of Edinburgh asked Ben and Karl what they did. “Making websites easier to use,” they replied. He joked, “How will you know you’ve finished?” And then walked off.
A visit from The Queen’s Lord Lieutenant
Soon after, The Queen’s Lord Lieutenant visited our offices. He presented us with our commemorative crystal and certificate, and he raised our royal flag.
The day was planned to coincide with our company get-together. It was a great occasion for our team members.
Here are some photos from the day:
On the lawn outside of our office, The Queen’s Lord Lieutenant raised our flag and presented the certificate and royal crystal bowl.
Our Queen’s Award certificate signed by Her Majesty The Queen.
The royal crystal, which now has pride of place in our offices.
We were honored that the ceremony was attended by many leading dignitaries. From left to right: Amanda Milling MP; Jeremy Lefroy MP; County Council Chairman, Mr Michael Greatorex; our CEO, Ben Jesson; The Queen’s Lord Lieutenant Ian Dudson CBE KStJ; our CTO, Karl Blanks; The High Sheriff of Stafford, Humphrey David Sneyd Scott-Moncrieff DL; and The Right Honourable Gavin Williamson CBE MP.
The day wasn’t windy enough to blow the flag. In hindsight, we wish we had paid someone to sit in a nearby tree with a leaf blower.
“Go on! Please!” We asked the High Sheriff to cut the cake with his sword. He informed us that Sheriffs are the only UK citizens legally allowed to carry swords.
After the ceremony, everyone mingled in the gardens with tea and cake.
The Queen’s Lord Lieutenant talked with our team members. We were impressed with how much he had read about conversion rate optimization.
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