September 2014 – The Royal Star & Garter Homes was honoured to welcome Her Royal Highness Princess Alexandra to the Surbiton Home to celebrate her 50th anniversary as president of the Charity.
Vice Admiral Sir John Dunt, Chairman of the Body of Governors, welcomed Princess Alexandra to the Surbiton Home. Her Royal Highness was escorted to the main hall, where she made a speech, commenting that she felt very privileged to have been president of The Royal Star & Garter Homes for the last fifty years. She received three cheers from residents and staff at the Charity for her dedication.
One of Surbiton’s newest residents, Jean Ryder, presented a welcome posy to the Princess. Jean commented: “I was so honoured to be asked to present the posy to Princess Alexandra. I have never met her before: she was so lovely when we chatted, she was charming and very beautiful. She was wearing the most gorgeous dress, lavenders, pinks and soft colours. The posy matched it perfectly, I am not sure if that was deliberate or a wonderful coincidence!”
Princess Alexandra took a tour of the Home and spent time talking to all of the residents, guests and staff. She was invited to sign the visitors’ book and then joined Sir John, Mike Barter, the Charity’s Chief Executive, Pauline Shaw, Director of Care & Service Development and the Home’s Manager, Barbara Carter, for tea.
The Princess became President of the Charity in July 1964, following the death of Field-Marshal The Viscount Alanbrooke of Brookeborough in 1963. Princess Alexandra has always maintained close links with the Charity and is a frequent visitor to the Homes, where she always shows a warm and genuine interest in the Charity’s work, residents and staff.