By Stefica Nicol Bikes

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Surrounded by tens of thousands of pieces of British royal memorabilia in her rural Australian home, Jan Hugo now has one more thing to brag about: meeting the man who is now King Charles.

Beginning in 1981 with a commemorative coin for then-Prince Charles’ marriage to his first wife, Diana, the 64-year-old’s collection has since grown to include more than 10,000 pieces of tableware, coasters and figurines that occupy several rooms in his in Nulkaba, a town located about 150 km (93 miles) northwest of Sydney.

One object, a tea towel bearing the image of Charles and Camilla, now queen consort, sparked a conversation between Hugo and the royal couple during their tour of Australia in 2015.

“Oh, the thrill of my life. Not many people can actually say they have met the King and Queen of England,’ she said of the meeting in Sydney, where she held up the tea towel to get the couple’s attention.

“Camilla came out first, looked up and said, ‘Oh my God, I’m on the rag.’ So she came straight to me and we had a nice chat,” Hugo told Reuters on Thursday.

“Then Charles came along and I had a red shirt that I had taken off the sleeves of and put Union Jack flags on for the sleeves. So he came over and rubbed my shoulder.

After celebrating Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee in June, Hugo was saddened to learn of the monarch’s death.

“There’s so many things, you can’t make out a single thing about her…she was just an amazing woman,” she said.

With King Charles on the throne and William assuming the title of Prince of Wales, more memories are on the way.

“So I need a whole new castle, not just another room to put it in, but I think I’m up for a castle now,” Hugo said.

(Reporting by Stefica Nicol Bikes; Writing by Lewis Jackson; Editing by Rosalba O’Brien)

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