This is a true story but the names have been changed, and some of the details in order for the story to make sense… but essentially it is true:

There was a young boy called Terence living in a foreign country; he was English, as was his family. Because it was a hot country whenever he went out he had to wear a hat, and his family called a hat a billycock, shortened to ‘billy’. Whenever the little lad went out, the family called to him “Don’t forget your billy!”

At last he was old enough to go to school, and on his first day the teacher asked him his name… unprepared for this, and remembering ‘don’t forget your billy’, he replied “Billy.” When he was sent to a boarding school, the head teacher of his infant school sent notes with him, telling the school that his name was Billy, but formalising it to ‘William’. All through his school days he was called Billy, and all the communications with his parents referred to ‘William’.

Eventually he left the foreign country and returned to England where he joined one of the armed services; his name was Terence, but still he had William attached to his name. He met a beautiful young girl and they got married, and although he was really Terence, because it was an official document and every other official document pertaining to him had his name as William Terence, so he was married as William Terence. His lovely young bride had been Christened Margaret Patricia, but she was always known as ‘Pat’.

Terry, as he was always called, and Pat, had a family and lived a happy life, with the usual ups and downs, happy times and very sad times, but they remained devoted to each other for sixty years. All their friends knew them as Terry and Pat and called them that. In Britain, when a couple reach their sixtieth wedding anniversary, they receive a congratulatory message from the queen. Terry and Pat received notification that they would receive such a message… and Her Majesty would write it to William and Margaret.

Terry got in touch with the office which had sent them their notification, asking if the message could be addressed to Terry and Pat, not William and Margaret. One evening, after an exciting game of bowls, Terry was in the bath when the phone rang. Pat answered it.

“Terry, it’s for you. It’s Buckingham Palace!”

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