Century in the making

Royal smile: Princess Alexandra at Ferrari's
Royal smile: Princess Alexandra at Ferrari's
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A century ago, the widow of Edward VII, Queen Alexandra, paid a visit to a Ribble Valley hamlet where she planted two chestnut trees.

One hundred years later, on another blustery winter’s day, her great granddaughter Princess Alexandra followed in those royal footsteps back to Black Moss, Thornley, now Ferrari’s Country House Hotel, where she too planted a horse chestnut tree. She was also greeted by the Ferrari family and 250 well-wishers attending a charity lunch in her honour.

Dressed in a green velvet suit, the Honourable Lady Ogilvy, the youngest grand- daughter of King George V and Queen Mary and 44th in line to the throne, spent time chatting to the guests.

Alice Turberfield, from Broughton, said: “She is so genuine. She has been shaking hands with everyone, not just those with chains on.”

And Carole Houghton said the princess commented to her on the beauty of the area, to which she replied: “Yes all the Ribble Valley is lovely, but we don’t tell everybody!”

The lunch was raising funds for the Alexandra Rose Charity, the North West Air Ambulance, Lancashire First Responders, Longridge Community Hospital and Great Eccleston Cancer Research. Before she left, Susan Ferrari’s eight-year-old granddaughter Amelie Varache presented the princess with a posy.