Queen honours Sandringham resident in Diamond Jubilee honours list

A woman who worked on the Royal estate in Sandringham for almost 40 years was one of a number of people to be recognised in the Queen's Diamond Jubilee honours list.

Annie Meldrum, 82, who still lives on the Sandringham Estate, has been awarded a Royal Victorian Medal (Silver) for personal services.

She along with her husband William began working at the kennels at Sandringham after moving from Scotland in 1964. They both retired in 2001.

Mrs Meldrum said: 'I was very surprised when I found out about the Royal Victorian Medal because I never dreamt or expected to get an award of any kind.

'I have also received a card from the Duke of York congratulating me and saying he was delighted to read about my award and that it was well deserved.

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'I was very surprised by this as well. He was just a little boy when we first came down here.'

She added: 'I used to tend all the puppies at the kennels and we've worked out over the years, I reared over 800 puppies.'

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Established by King Edward VII in 1879 to house 100 dogs, the Sandringham kennels and the labradors which are bred there have become firm favourites of the Royal Family.

Since the Queen's accession to the throne in 1952, the breeding programme has gone from strength to strength, culminating in the training of five Field Trial Champions. All the puppies born at Sandringham are named by the Queen and are registered with the prefix Sandringham.

The kennels now house approximately 20 fully grown dogs of varying ages, including labradors and cocker spaniels. These range from the older and more experienced gundogs used by members of the Royal Family during the shooting season, to the younger dogs under training as gundogs.

The Royal Victorian Medal (RVM) is a decoration established by Queen Victoria in April 1896.

A part of the Royal Victorian Order, it is a reward for personal service to the Queen or the Royal Family, and is the personal gift of the sovereign.

Although the medal is related to the Royal Victorian Order, it differs in appearance and in the way it is worn.

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