Heaven & Hell: Bruno Peek

Bruno arm-in-arm with former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher

Bruno arm-in-arm with former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher - Credit: Contributed

Bruno Peek LVO OBE OPR is the pageant master of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.  

Later this year on Thursday June 2, he will oversee the beacons being lit throughout the UK, Channel Islands, Isle of Man, British Overseas Territories, and for the very first time, in each of the capital cities of the Commonwealth countries.  

This unique tribute to Her Majesty will also include town criers undertaking the Jubilee proclamation at 1pm, pipers playing Diu Regnare, a unique tune written for the occasion, and choirs singing throughout the UK and the Commonwealth as the beacons are lit at 9.15pm. Here he talks to Gina Long. 

Bruno with Her Majesty the Queen

Bruno with Her Majesty the Queen - Credit: Contributed

What’s the impact of COVID-19 and how are you adapting? Extremely difficult, as we had to cancel national events that had taken many months of planning, and I could not receive any financial support from the government because I am self-employed. 

What is your connection to East Anglia? I was born to Polish immigrants in King’s Lynn in Norfolk. From what I have been told, my identical twin brother and I were dumped outside of police station in King’s Lynn when we were 14 months old.  

We were put into a children’s home until we were four years old when we adopted by an amazing Christian couple - Mildred and Leslie Peek who turned out to be the most amazing parents any child would ever want. They were very strict, but filled our lives with so much love. 

Although I was only four years old at the time, I can remember it was either my brother George or myself shouting out as they were walking down the long drive to the front door of the home “Have you come for us?” This moved my future parents so much they requested to adopt us both - even though they only originally wanted to adopt one child. 

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However, my twin brother George, sadly took his own life when he was 22, which as you can imagine was devastating beyond belief to both our loving parents and myself. 

What is your East Anglian Heaven? The people and the environment. 

What is your East Anglian Hell? Small-minded people, but we have those all over the world. 

What’s your favourite East Anglian landmark? I don’t really have one in particular, although I love the Norfolk Broads and have had some wonderful boating holidays on them. 

What’s the best thing that happens in East Anglia every year? Her Majesty, who spends her Christmas at Sandringham. However, as we discovered, Her Majesty’s spent Christmas at Windsor.

What is your favourite restaurant? I have many, and love all types of food. 

What is your specialist Mastermind subject? That’s far too clever for me. 

What is always in your fridge? Milk and good wine. 

What’s your simple philosophy of life? Trusting in God and being happy. 

What’s your favourite film? I don’t have one. 

Bruno stood beside The Queen during the Diamond Jubilee

Bruno stood beside The Queen during the Diamond Jubilee - Credit: Contributed

What was your first job? An apprentice baker. 

What is your most treasured possession? My wife Moira, who I love so much. 

Who do you admire most? Jesus Christ for the sacrifice he made for us, and Her Majesty the Queen who has dedicated her whole life to us. 

What is your biggest indulgence? Too much wine, and good food. 

What do you like about yourself most? Not a lot to be perfectly honest, as I can be very selfish. 

What’s your worst character trait? Speaking before thinking sometimes. 

Where is your favourite holiday destination? Malta. I would live there tomorrow if I had the money. 

Best day of your life? Giving my life to God and becoming a Christian. And also meeting and marrying Moira. 

What’s your favourite breakfast? A full English. 

What’s your favourite tipple? A bottle of really good champagne, like Dom Pérignon. 

What’s your hidden talent? I don’t have one. 

What’s your earliest memory? When my future mother and father walked down the long drive at the children’s home my brother and I were in at the time. 

What’s the worst thing anyone has ever said to you? I have had many sad and nasty things said to me over the years. 

Tell us why you live here and nowhere else? I love Gorleston - but if I could live in Malta in a nice villa with my wife Moira, I’d be gone tomorrow. 

What do you want to tell our readers about most? The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Beacons will take place on Thursday June 2 this year - consider taking part by lighting a beacon at 9.15pm in tribute to Her Majesty The Queen.  

She has dedicated her whole life to serve our country and the Commonwealth, and has done so with such dignity and selflessness for 70 years. To find out more, visit queensjubileebeacons.com

Happy New Year to all of your readers. 

If you have an interesting story to share, email gina@hallfarmfornham.com

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