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Queen plays Pointless with Alexander Armstrong at Sandringham WI

PUBLISHED: 07:43 25 January 2019 | UPDATED: 13:19 25 January 2019

The Queen arrives at West Newton Village Hall, where she made her appeal over Brexit  Picture: Sonya Duncan

The Queen arrives at West Newton Village Hall, where she made her appeal over Brexit Picture: Sonya Duncan

Archant 2019

A Norfolk Women's Institute had a Royal guest when it celebrated its centenary.

The Queen leaving the WI meeting at Sandringham today    Picture: Joe Giddens/PA WireThe Queen leaving the WI meeting at Sandringham today Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

The Queen joined members of the Sandringham WI, when they met at West Newton Village Hall.

The 92-year-old monarch was greeted by Yvonne Browne, chair of the 30-strong group, when she arrived this afternoon.

Singing and clapping were heard coming from inside the hall, where the Queen spent almost two hours.

After she left, Mrs Browne said: “We’ve had a really lovely afternoon. It’s our centenary and the Queen very kindly said a few words. She said she hoped the fun and friendship would continue into the next century.”

The Queen visits the WI at West Newton.
Guest speaker at the event is Alexander Armstrong.
Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2019The Queen visits the WI at West Newton. Guest speaker at the event is Alexander Armstrong. Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2019

The occasion passed more smoothly than last year’s meeting, which was held without light or heating after storms caused a power cut in the village. The Queen reportedly told members: “I can’t see anybody but I know you’re all there.”

The special guest at the meeting was comedian, TV presenter and singer Alexander Armstrong.

Mr Armstrong sang Berkeley Square, spoke about his varied career - which includes being the voice for cartoon sleuth Danger Mouse, of which the Queen is said to be a fan.

He then chaired an impromptu session of TV game show Pointless, which was won by a team of 15 including the Queen, who were presented with one of the show’s trademark trophies.

The Queen is shown to her Range Rover by Yvonne Browne after the WI meeting   Picture: Joe Giddens/PA WireThe Queen is shown to her Range Rover by Yvonne Browne after the WI meeting Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

“I have to say there were some notable players upfront in Her Majesty’s side,” said Mr Armstrong.

“I think Her Majesty and the team can be very pleased with themselves tonight and go back covered in glory.”

“I think they can look back over the match and feel rightly proud of what they achieved.”

He said the Queen gave some answers herself and had “some deft, silky Pointless skills”.

Royal visitors to the Woman's Institute- the Queen, Queen Mother and Princess Margret pose outside West Newton parish hall where they were welcomed by the vice presidents of Sandringham WI, Mrs Harriet Benstead and Mrs Doris Parsons in 1977   Picture: ArchantRoyal visitors to the Woman's Institute- the Queen, Queen Mother and Princess Margret pose outside West Newton parish hall where they were welcomed by the vice presidents of Sandringham WI, Mrs Harriet Benstead and Mrs Doris Parsons in 1977 Picture: Archant

Of his visit to Norfolk, he added: “It’s literally like a dream come true. I think everyone dreams of having tea with the Queen and I just have. It’s been the most lovely, lovely experience.”
The Queen, who is the honorary president of Sandringham WI, presented Mrs Browne with a vase in appreciation of her work as chair and unveiled a plaque to celebrate the centenary of the branch, which was founded in February 1919 by her grandmother Queen Mary.

The Queen became a WI member in 1943, as the 18-year-old Princess Elizabeth.

Her mother was president of the Sandringham branch for 50 years until her death in 2002.

The Countess of Wessex is a member of Bagshot WI, in Surrey. The Duchess of Cornwall is a member of Tetbury WI, in Gloucestershire, while the Princess Royal is an associate member.

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