A right royal makeover for foster carer Pat
She is known for her colour co-ordinated outfits and extensive hat collection but what do you wear to meet Her Majesty? That was the conundrum facing foster carer Pat Bottomley, who was made an MBE in recognition of the number of children she has helped over the past 40 years.
Her son's partner, Susan Joyce, put Pat forward for a Femail makeover to take the pressure off the big day.
"Pat is the most caring, loving person I have ever met, putting everyone before herself and rarely giving herself any thought at all," Susan said.
"Now, she is in a position that is causing her lots of stress and taking the shine off a fantastic, once-in-a-lifetime occasion."
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It is a huge event for Pat, who has fostered about 600 children with her husband Bryan, who has also been made an MBE.
Pat was nervously fretting about living up to the Queen's polished presence and Susan, who has lived with the couple for seven years, wanted to take the weight off her shoulders.
It has not been easy for Pat, since a suffering from severe back problems in September. She has experienced a lot of stress, anxiety and agonising pain.
"As you can imagine, it has been virtually impossible for her to even think of trying on outfits," Susan said.
Pat was recognised for an MBE after the social services, her family, MP Alan Johnson and previous foster child Lenny Bottomley, whom she fostered for 14 years and adopted, sent in their nominations.
She received her MBE on Thursday, with Bryan and their six children travelling down to London.
Pat, 73, had been practising her curtsey in the mirror and was overwhelmed by the honour.
Femail stepped in to solve her shopping woes, sending her to the personal shopper at Debenhams and for an appointment at Colour Lounge to spruce up her look.
Kelley Meherhoff, stylist at Colour Lounge, said: "Pat's hair was her natural colour and it would have been a shame to colour over it.
"We decided to leave the colour and tidied the cut into a nice shape.
"We didn't want to do too much to as she had recently had it cut.
"We then blow-dried it nice and full so it would last and used Osis styling products."
Laura May, personal shopper at Debenhams, said: "When Pat came for her appointment we discussed creating an outfit to wear for the spring months and her Palace visit.
"I picked out a beautiful floral printed skirt in this season's royal blue.
"I teamed this with an off-white lace detail top and finished the looked with a cardigan to complement the outfit."
Stacey France, makeup artist at Colour Lounge, said: "Starting with the eye, I covered the eye area in concealer, which creates a blank canvas to start on.
"Next, I took a brown eyeliner very softly to the eye line. A light brown shadow was then applied to the brow. I finished the eyes with mascara.
"Next I used a tinted moisturiser to add warmth to Pat's skin tone, followed by bronzer and blusher.
"A lip plumping deep-pink gloss was then used to finish the look."
Pat was thrilled to sit back and relax while she was given the Femail pampering treatment.
"It was a bit odd for me, because I don't usually give myself time like that," Pat said, smiling.
"I didn't have any idea of what I wanted – dresses don't look right on me.
"I was beginning to get into panic mode about the whole thing.
"It was lovely, though, and Laura at Debenhams was fantastic – nothing was too much trouble."
Cardigan by Collection, £19.50; top from Principles by Ben de Lisi, £35; skirt by Classics, £45; all from Debenhams.
Colour Lounge is in Carr Lane, Hull, HU1 3RQ. Call 01482 227755 for appointments.