Yesterday afternoon, The Countess of Wessex joined fellow members of the Bagshot Women’s Institute for a catch-up meeting at the Half Moon in Windlesham.
Sophie drove herself to the pub, which is a short drive from her home at Bagshot Park. The Half Moon re-opened last weekend after being closed during the Covid-19 outbreak.
The Bagshot WI members discussed how they have been supporting the local community, including sewing scrub bags and PPE, and baking for key workers.
One of the WI members, Ann Bull, supported the pub and treated herself to a sandwich and chips with a gin and tonic. Sophie said to Ann, “I’m driving – otherwise I would have been joining you!”
Sue Surman pointed to the Countess’s orange juice and said, “I would have some champagne in that.”
Whilst getting in the drinks, The Countess of Wessex met with the pub’s staff and heard all about the new measures in place to ensure all the customer’s safety. Sophie met with the pub’s owner, Conrad Sturt, and discussed how the lockdown had affected the business. However, Conrad also added that he has received a lot of support from the local community.
He said, “The support of our locals, and our community, has been exceptional. We managed to do a takeaway and collection service which has kept us going. It is safe to come back to the pubs, provided the pubs are managing the situation properly.”
Whilst sat in the garden with her fellow WI members, Sophie also met other members of the community who had come out to support their local pub. There are some lovely photos of the Royal with a cocker spaniel puppy, Hendrix.
The Countess said to the adorable dog, “You are really lucky you are on the end of a lead, otherwise I might take you home!”
It was clear that the Half Moon really was the Countess’s local when she bumped into a man she had met before but could not place; she then realised they went to the same gym and exclaimed: “I’m not used to seeing you not in Lycra!”
The Countess’s visit to the Half Moon was one of the most enjoyable royal engagements we have seen in 2020, with all royals adapting their schedules and duties to confirm with the Government’s regulations and health advice.