The Queen attends WI meeting – and gets first birthday cake of the year

The Queen visited her local WI meeting last week, of which she is patron, as she continued her holiday at Sandringham.

The Queen greets Yvonne Brown at the WI meeting in Sandringham last week. Matt Upsher /Norfolk

The Queen greets Yvonne Brown at the WI meeting in Sandringham last week. Matthew Usher/Eastern Daily Press

Dressed in pale blue, and without a hat, The Queen was pictured leaving her car at the meeting, where she spent around 90 minutes.

At various meetings, guest speakers talk on a topic; this time, in the presence of The Queen, Sian William, broadcaster, took to the stage, to speak about her life as a journalist. She was braced to appear before the “smallest but most intimidating audience” when she spoke to the Sandringham Women’s Institute.

She said: “We were told so many different ways to greet The Queen. I was told how to nod, someone else said to curtsey and someone else told me to bow, so I did all three. She must have thought I was mad.”

Her Majesty joined the voluntary organisation in 1943. She attends every year during her stay at Sandringham, her private 20,000-acre estate in Norfolk, and took over the organisation’s presidency from her mother.

She also gave a short address, and spoke of her newest great-grandchild, Princess Charlotte.

The Queen was presented with a fruit cake – her first birthday cake of 2016, when she celebrates her 90th birthday – and a champagne toast was held. She was also given birthday presents, including a plaque to accompany the sweet chestnut tree which was planted at Sandringham recently, flowers, and marmalade.

Yvonne Browne, vice-president of the Sandringham branch has said that there is no ‘fancy tea’ when Her Majesty comes since ‘she just becomes one of us and I think she really enjoys it.’

She commented on this recent visit from the Monarch: “We had a little bit of a joke, because when she went to the Albert Hall in London last year [for the WI’s centenary], she had difficulty cutting the cake.

“I said to her ‘I hope you can cut this, Ma’am.’ And the knife went in easily so that was good!”

Another member, who sat at the same table as Her Majesty for tea, said: “She makes you feel very much at ease” and that they ‘talk about all sorts of things, like family and gardening.’

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