Rosemary's delight at Prince William honour

Rosemary Lancaster, who has dedicated her life to helping others, has described receiving her MBE from Prince William as a memory she will always treasure.

Saturday, 7th May 2016, 9:52 am
Updated Saturday, 7th May 2016, 11:55 am

Rosemary, from the Ribble Valley, who was awarded the prestigious gong in the New Year’s Honours List, travelled down to Buckingham Palace the day after the nation had celebrated the Queen’s 90th birthday for her special royal appointment.

“To receive an MBE from a future king of England was such an incredible honour, one of the proudest moments of my life,” said Rosemary, who with her husband John transformed The Grand in Clitheroe from an old cinema into an award-winning community venue.

“Prince William was very gracious, such a nice man, and he was very interested in what we were doing with the Grand Theatre and the Solomon Project, our charity in Africa.

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“Going to Buckingham Palace and meeting a prince is something you dream about as a young girl and this is a memory that I’ll keep with me forever.”

It proved a celebratory day for all sorts of reasons for the Lancaster family.

She said: “As well as going to Buckingham Palace, my great nephew Isiah was born in America on the same day, and my first grandson, Joshua, celebrated his 18th birthday, so April 22 will always be a special day now.”

Rosemary received her award in recognition for her charitable work through the Lancaster Foundation, which has gifted millions to help many worthwhile charities and disadvantaged and suffering people worldwide.

In 2011, her husband John also landed the MBE after he founded and built the first village for AIDS orphans in South Africa.

The huge success of Ribble Valley company Ultraframe, the conservatory business started by Mr Lancaster, has enabled the Lancaster family to donate a large percentage of their wealth to charity.

The Solomon Project, supported by the Grand in Clitheroe and local schools, provides daily meals for thousands of chronically hungry children in Africa.

It costs just £17 to feed a child in school for a whole year in Eldoret. For details on how you can donate, ring 01200 421599 or www.thesolomonproject.com.