Home Royal News Queen visits Royal British Legion homes ahead of Remembrance Sunday

Queen visits Royal British Legion homes ahead of Remembrance Sunday

by Katie Balfe

Today, The Queen undertook the first of many engagements, which will be carried out by members of the Royal Family in the run up to Remembrance Sunday. Remembrance Sunday is held on the second Sunday in November and commemorates British servicemen and women who have died in wars and other military conflict since the beginning of the First World War.

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A busy day for The Queen began at Buckingham Palace, where she received her Prime Minister Boris Johnson. In a video posted to his Twitter, the Prime Minister said he would use the audience to tell Her Majesty why the country needed a general election on December 12th. Following the audience, she traveled to Kent to pay a visit to the Royal British Legion Industries Centenary Village in Aylesford.

The Royal British Legion Industries Centenary Village is a housing project for veterans and their families run by Royal British Legion Industries (RBLI). RBLI supports serving personnel and also veterans and their families, as well as veterans who are disabled and long-term unemployed, through giving them accommodation, welfare, training and employment.

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The Queen arrived to the sound of cheers and the waving of flags as she got out of her car. She waved to those waiting eagerly to catch a glimpse of her, the crowd including local schoolchildren and members of the general public. She also received a traditional Fijian welcome – sitting cross legged on the floor, clapping – from John Ahben, a former King’s Own Royal Boarders soldier who was left unconscious with severe head injury following a car accident while training in Cyprus and who has, since then, developed a interest in plants and horticulture. Mr Ahben moved into village accommodation where he worked on the RBLI’s garden.

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During her visit, The Queen saw how residents of the village benefit from the many social and recreational activities which are on offer to them. Some of those actives include; reading to local schoolchildren, arts and crafts, and flower arranging.

The Queen chats to residents about their creative activities (Royal Family)

She also viewed plans for next phase of development on the village and met with residents and staff, including the village’s oldest resident, 99-year-old World War II veteran John Riggs. She also joined in a lunch to celebrate to celebrate RBLI’s centenary.

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One of the major focuses of the visit was the official opening of the brand new Appleton Lodge care facility. The facility, which was named after World War I frontline nurse Edith Appleton, has been designed to provide high quality care to all 15 (and counting) residents of the village and was officially opened when The Queen unveiled a plaque.

The Queen unveiled a plaque to mark the official opening of Appleton Lodge (Royal Family)

Her Majesty got her hands dirty at the end of her visit today, when she helped to bury a time capsule in the grounds of the village. Among the items included in the capsule was a message from Her Majesty to the RBLI, congratulating them on their centenary.

The capsule is to be opened in 100 years time by the residents who live in the village then. Much will have changed in that time, but what will it be like? Who will be the monarch then? And what will the Royal Family of the future look like?

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