Royal wedding cake from Prince William and Kate with a note from the Duchess of Cornwall delights Norfolk fan

Icing on the cake for Royal fan Mary

There was no hint on the plain brown envelope which arrived by special delivery - but the contents were to make the year for one loyal West Norfolk resident.

The package included a piece of Royal wedding cake from the marriage of Prince William and Catherine Middleton, along with a hand-written note from the Duchess of Cornwall who said a 'little bird' had told her recipient Mary Relph had been unable to make the trip to London for the day itself.

Encased in its own specially-made tin, the piece of royal fruit cake will never be eaten and takes pride of place among the hundreds of items of royal memorabilia owned by 77-year-old Mrs Relph, who was distraught when illness prevented her from making the trip to join the crowds of well-wishers at the end of April.

'I have no idea who told her - I really don't know how they knew,' she said.

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The surprise really was the icing on the cake for the ardent royal-watcher whose Shouldham home is crammed to the rafters with every type of memorabilia from plates to photographs, thimbles and even a life-size cut out of William and Kate which graces her hallway.

'I was so upset that I couldn't go - we had the hotel rooms booked and everything. My friend said I should use a wheelchair - but she would never have got me through the crowds,' said Mrs Relph.

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She watched the celebration in nearby North Runcton where her niece was holding an event to join the mood of the occasion.

A hand-written note from the Duchess of Cornwall arrived at Mrs Relph's home with the cake and read: 'A little bird told me that you were unable to get to the wedding as you had injured your back. I hope this cake will help to alleviate this, with my best wishes Camilla.'

Mrs Relph has been troubled by a back problem for a while, but nothing will deter her from the Christmas visit of the Queen and members of the Royal family when they arrive at Sandringham for the annual festivities.

This year Prince William and his new wife are expected to join the party - and it will be an opportunity that Mrs Relph is looking forward to.

The diamond jubilee is firmly on her calendar and she already has a hotel room booked for the celebrations in London and is fully expecting to be lining the route on Sunday, June 2.

Family duty nearly got in the way of the weekend however, as Mrs Relph's granddaughter Sarah Lister announced she was getting married on June 1.

'She said that I wouldn't be happy about it - she should have been getting married the week before but it got changed and now it's the same weekend as the jubilee. I will still go to London as well though, I don't want to miss it,' she said.

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