TWO Huddersfield businessmen met the Queen at a Buckingham Palace - and told the Examiner: "She's small and cuddly, just like any other grandma."
Simon Needham and James Sommerville, bosses of Attik design, attended a reception to honour the best in British design.
James said: "Simon, who's based at our San Francisco office, had hired a Ford Fiesta - and when we drove up, all the other cars were Bentleys, Mercedes and Rolls- Royces.
"Everyone thought we'd taken a wrong turn. When we got to the palace gate, a policeman leaned in the car window and shone a torch through the dark into Simon's face. He said: `Are you dropping something off, sir?'
"Needless to say, that made me laugh."
The pair, both 38, were among 400 guests at the event, hosted by the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh.
Others included designers Sir Terence Conran, of Habitat fame, and his fashion designer son, Jasper.
James, who lives in Leeds, added: "The palace was stunning, as you'd expect. The walls are covered with masterpieces and lined with sculpture.
"We were pleased to see bowls of crisps on the Regency furniture. It just goes to show that, however posh the event, crisps are compulsory.
"The Queen was very nice, very chit-chatty.
"She seemed generally interested in Attik.
"A male servant followed her round in full attire. His job, it seemed, was to stand next to her with a crystal glass of iced water for her, perched on a golden tray."
Classic examples of British design were on show, including Concorde's "droop nose", a Routemaster double-decker bus, a Mini Cooper and a row of cat's eyes road markers designed by Halifax man Percy Shaw.
The event highlighted the design industry's £5bn a year contribution to the UK economy.
It was the second royal engagement of the year for Attik.
A few months ago, James took part in an event to mark the 21st anniversary of the Prince's Trust and met Prince Charles.
Simon and James launched Attik in Fitzwilliam Street, Huddersfield, in 1986, with a £1,000 grant from the trust.
Since then, the graphic design company has grown to have offices in London, New York, San Francisco and Sydney. It has an annual turnover of £10m.
Its clients have included MTV, Warner Brothers, EMI and Toyota.
James remains an adviser to new businesses with the Prince's Trust.