Queen gets caught in storms ahead of tea and cake at annual WI meeting in West Newton
PUBLISHED: 18:15 18 January 2018 | UPDATED: 20:36 18 January 2018
Even the Queen found herself caught in a power cut after storms and gusts of up to 70mph raged across Norfolk.
When she arrived to join members of the Sandringham WI for a meeting at West Newton village hall, the building was one of tens of thousands across the region left without electricity.
Branch chair and vice-president Yvonne Brown said: “The village had been off since seven minutes past six. We held the meeting with no heating or light.
“I had calls with the house and the Queen’s private secretary said ‘yes if you’re happy to go ahead we’re happy to go ahead’.
“So Her Majesty valiantly came along to the WI. She thought it was one of those things, she laughed and said: ‘I can’t see anybody but I know you’re all there.”
Every year, the Queen visits the WI during her winter stay in Sandringham near King’s Lynn.
Wearing a pink coat and carrying a black handbag, she arrived in a Range Rover and was greeted by Yvonne Brown, vice-president of the Sandringham WI.
She was joined by BBC Look East presenter Susie Fowler Watt, who is this year’s guest speaker.
Speaking ahead of the meeting, Ms Fowler-Watt said: “I was very surprised, first of all, to be invited and just incredibly honoured and excited.
“It’s a wonderful thing to be asked to do.
“I’ve tried not to think too much about it or I will start getting worried.
“They’ve had some incredible speakers before and I feel honoured to be one of them.”
She said her daughter Lola, 12, had been excited since she found out and was coming to hand a posy to the Queen afterwards.
“She’s been working on me and she’s worn me down,” joked Ms Fowler-Watt.
The Queen joined the Sandringham branch of WI in 1943 when she was still Princess Elizabeth. Her mother was President of Sandringham WI until her death in 2002, when the Queen took over the role.