Members of the Welsh Rugby Union were some of those lucky enough to meet the Queen this week during her Diamond Jubilee celebrations.
It was a massive honour to meet the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, especially during our Grand Slam season
Six of the Grand Slam winning team - captain Sam Warburton, Ryan Jones, Dan Lydiate, Toby Faletau, Rhys Priestland, Jonathan Davies, along with interim head coach Rob Howley, team manager Alan Phillips and WRU Group Chief Executive Roger Lewis were part of the line-up of groups and organisations who met Her Majesty and the Duke of Edinburgh at Margam Park near Port Talbot on Thursday, while Stephen Jones, Leigh Halfpenny and kicking coach Neil Jenkins put on a kicking masterclass at the 'Diamonds in the Park' event at Glanusk on yesterday, the last stop on the royal tour of south Wales.
WRU Group Chief Executive Roger Lewis said: "This youthful group of players epitomises a modern Wales - talented, innovative and hard-working. It's a fitting tribute that they were recognised in this way for everything they have achieved thus far."
Warburton added, "It was a massive honour to meet the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, especially during our Grand Slam season. I was nervous of course, but it's something I can be very proud of."
Priestland, said, "It was a great experience to meet the Royal Family, and to be part of the occasion at Margam Park. The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh asked who we played for, congratulated us on the Grand Slam and said that the Six Nations had been exciting. It's always great to come out into the community and meet people, especially since the Grand Slam, everyone wants to talk to you and that's fantastic."
RBS 6 Nations player of the tournament Dan Lydiate said, "I can't wait to put the photo on the mantelpiece, it's something I'll treasure."
Leigh Halfpenny led the kicking session at the festival of rural activities in Glanusk, near Crickhowell. Along with Stephen Jones and Neil Jenkins, he gave a group of young players from the Brecon, Builth Wells and Llandovery Rugby Clubs an invaluable experience, passing on tips and techniques to help them on their way. He said, "Reaching out to the community is part of what we do as a squad - young players are the future of our game and if we can help them on their rugby development pathway, that's great."
Kieran Elliott who plays for Llandovery Under 16s said, "I learned a lot about kicking out of hand and about place kicking in the session, it was a great experience to have the session with the Wales internationals."
Leigh Halfpenny added, "Afterwards, I was very nervous before meeting the Queen, not quite as nervous as before the France game this season, but it was right up there. It was a great experience and a great day."
Twelve young people have been selected to follow a one year WRU Coach Core apprenticeship programme. Coach Core was set up by the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry as part of the Olympics legacy in 2012 and the Duke of Cambridge was on hand to meet the apprentices on their first day in the job. The programme has been funded by the Hunter Foundation.
The WRU has launched a campaign to create a long term legacy for Welsh club rugby by highlighting the advantages of volunteering. Rhian Edwards, a volunteer at Seven Sisters, has enjoyed many benefits of her volunteering at a grassroots rugby club including being part of the Rugby World Cup volunteer workforce after being nominated by the WRU - and the WRU is asking for more people to develop their 'Welsh rugby roots'.
Wales head coach Warren Gatland and captain Sam Warburton say their first prioirty on Sunday in the opening game of the World Cup is to win against Uruguay and not get overly concerned with points difference.
With only days to go until the biggest rugby competition in the world begins, rugby fans visiting Cardiff this autumn will be able to enjoy a special display at National Museum Cardiff as part of the celebrations surrounding the Rugby World Cup.