The UK’s oldest postmistress, who received her MBE from the Queen at Buckingham Palace, has paid tribute to the country’s longest reigning monarch.

Patriotic postmistress, Olive Norris, 92, is still happily serving customers at her Thompson Post Office, near Watton, where she is better known by villagers as Betty – due to her middle name being Elizabeth.

Mrs Norris said: “The Queen has been amazing – a fantastic role model.

“I was very shocked a saddened by the Queen’s passing. I am devastated, as so many people are. It was so sudden. We had only just seen the wonderful photos of our smiling Queen meeting the new Prime Minister Liz Truss. However, I am so glad that she died peacefully and did not suffer.

“The Queen was a remarkable lady and I am so glad that as a nation we got to celebrate her Platinum Jubilee. We marked the occasion in my village.

"It was a lovely warm day and we were very able to celebrate outside at a Jubilee party. I donated special Platinum Jubilee 50p coins to every child in the village and they loved them. A tree was also planted. A plaque was unveiled to mark her 70-year reign.”

A photo of Mrs Norris receiving her MBE from the Queen is framed in a black border and is on view at Thompson Post Office, where she has been postmistress for 31 years.

The devoted Royalist has been lucky enough to visit Buckingham Palace four times including a Royal Garden party and a tour. The first time was when her daughter, Teresa, got her Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award, presented by The Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip.

Mrs Norris added: “The day that I was presented an MBE for services to the community was an unforgettable day and one that I will always cherish. When I see news coverage of other people receiving their honour from the Queen, all the happy memories come flooding back.

“When I received the MBE the Queen asked me where I was from and I made her smile with my response. I said ‘I am from a tiny village on the edge of an army training area where people only come to Thompson if they have to or live there’.”

For the Queen’s Coronation, Mrs Norris fondly remembers her father buying a television specifically so that they could watch the occasion.

The Queen’s funeral will also be televised on a big screen in the Thompson Village Hall so that the community can be together. There will also be a book of condolences for people to sign.

Mrs Norris, who has lived in the village of Thompson her entire life, said: “We always have parties in Thompson to mark special Royal occasions.

"When I was younger, I always was part of the organising committee for the village for Royal celebrations, but my daughter now helps with the organising and decorating the Post Office with flags and bunting and tubs of flowers in red, white and blue.”

In 2000, Mrs Norris received her MBE for her service to the community.

She was also secretary of the former village hall for 62 years and her husband, Archie, was the postmaster before her. He was also postmaster for Watton and Carbrooke, and ran Thompson Post Office and the village shop from 1948. Mrs Norris started working there after their marriage in 1955. She has now worked at Thompson Post Office for 67 years.

  • The Queen’s funeral takes place on the morning of Monday, September 19 alongside processions in London and Windsor, with public viewing areas and big screens in both locations.

  • There are more than 11,500 Post Office branches in the UK, with 99pc of the population living within three miles of one. For more information about the Post Office, visit