Brave Mia inspired by Royal meeting
BRAVE schoolgirl Mia Lopiano this week recalled the day The Queen made her feel like a princess.
As the Jubilee celebrations gathered pace the nine-year-old, who was born with mild cerebral palsy, relived the moment her courage thrust her into the spotlight as a toddler.
Mia was just three when she was chosen to present The Queen with a bouquet of flowers at the end of a 60 minute visit to the rebuilt Royal Berkshire Hospital in March 2006.
She was chosen to welcome the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh after impressing hospital staff with her determination to learn to walk after years of extensive and uncomfortable physiotherapy.
The royal couple opened the hospital's new Battle Block and Mia still remembers every detail of her big day.
The Springfield County Primary School pupil, who still needs painful botox injections every six months to relax her muscles and had surgery two years ago to prevent her feet pointing downwards, said: "It was so exciting.
"She was really nice to me and her husband told me to put my cardigan back on because he thought I'd be cold!
"I remember that the flowers I gave her were pink, she was wearing green and I was quite nervous.
"All my friends at school know that I've met her. I've told them all about it. It's something I'll always remember."
Beaming Mia was already familiar with being centre stage because she had already performed the official opening ceremony of Dingley Specialist Children's Centre in Craven Road in January that year.
Cuddling his daughter in the back garden of their home in Tilehurst's Barton Road, her dad Guiseppe, said: "I am so proud of her.
"I've kept everything from the day she met The Queen, all the newspaper cuttings and photographs. It was fantastic.
"The Queen was very nice and spoke to Mia really normally, talking about the dress she was wearing and asking her about us. It was a really proud day for me."
He added: "She is my special one, my princess. Her treatment is ongoing but she is getting better. We would do anything for her."
With mum Michelle and Mia's 16-year-old sister Katie, the family will be going to a party to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee this weekend.
Mia added: "When I see the Queen on TV I don't really think about it, but I really loved that day."