Visit by HRH Princess Alexandra

26 June 2019
On 26 June, the Trust was honoured and delighted to host a visit to Romney Marsh by HRH Princess Alexandra. It had been a personal request of the Princess to take a tour of the churches and within the timings allowed, four of the 14 churches of the Marsh were included, as well as an introduction to community interest project, Romney Tweed.

On arrival at Old Romney, the Princess was received by HM Lord Lieutenant of Kent Viscount de L’Isle who presented the High Sheriff of Kent, Paul Barrett and Chairman of the Trust, Peter Anwyl-Harris.

HRH Princess Alexandra is presented to The High Sheriff of Kent, Paul Barrett

Chairman of the Trust, Peter Anwyl-Harris presents President of the Trust, John Doyle

The Princess’s tour of the churches was started at St Clement, Old Romney where she was received by Priest in Charge the Very Rev. John Richardson. The Trust’s Council Member, John Hendy acted as the guide throughout her visit, spending quiet time with the Princess to share each church’s unique story.

The Princess takes time to hear more on St Clement, Old Romney by her guide for the day, John Hendy

From Old Romney, it was on to St Augustine, Brookland where she was met by the children from the primary school who turned out in force to greet her. She was received by the Rev Shuna Body.

The Princess meets the children of Brookland Primary School

John Hendy tells the story of the Bell Tower at St Augustine, Brookland

St Thomas Becket, Fairfield is an essential stopover on any tour of the Marsh churches and the Princess was able to view this iconic little church from the road. The Princess’s tour ended at St George, Ivychurch where a reception was held, and as well as being received by Rev John Richardson and the Archdeacon for Ashford, the Venerable Darren Miller, the Princess met representatives from all 14 Romney Marsh churches, as well as several members of the Trust’s council. Lucy Staple, grand daughter of Council Member George Staple, presented a posy to the Princess at the end of her visit.

The Marsh churches community gather at St George, Ivychurch

Lucy Staple, aged 9, presents a posy

With the Princess’ parting comment being that she must return one day to visit the other Marsh churches, Peter Anwyl-Harris reflects on a very successful day “I think she thoroughly enjoyed it. She was very interested in the churches and engaged with so many of those involved in their care, as well as spending time talking to many of the children at Brookland School. She was delightful.”

A signed memento of the Princess’s visit to the Romney Marsh historic churches

Princess Alexandra, 82 is a working member of the royal family and first cousin to Queen Elizabeth II. She is sister of the present Duke of Kent and Prince Michael of Kent.

All pictures to commemorate this special day were taken by Council Member Ian Hamilton.