Weather presenter Carol Kirkwood entertains the Queen at WI meeting in Sandringham

The Queen was entertained by a speech on the history of weather forecasting by BBC breakfast's Carol Kirkwood today, when she attended a Women's Institute meeting at a Norfolk village hall.

The 85-year-old monarch is the honorary president of Sandringham WI, which meets at West Newton Village Hall, and arrived by Range Rover just before 3pm wearing a dusky pink overcoat.

The sound of members singing the National Anthem could be heard outside as the Queen entered the village hall after being welcomed by WI chair Yvonne Browne.

After the Queen left two hours later, Mrs Browne said the monarch gave an address, telling members what she had been doing over the last year, before members performed a shortened version of Aladdin.

'We acknowledged the fact the Queen was in her Diamond Jubilee year by giving her a present,' said Mrs Browne, who has been a member of the WI since 1991.

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'But I can't say what we got her in case she hasn't opened it yet. What I can say is that it is unique and we hope she will like it.'

Smithdon High School student Marianna Mulligan, 15, and Daisy Greenacre, 16, who attends Springwood High School waited patiently in the cold to give the Queen some flowers after she left the meeting.

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Miss Mulligan, who lives next door to the village hall, said: 'I used to stand in the garden and watch the Queen go in and leave the village hall from the age of three.

'It's becoming quite a tradition for me now because I used and it's something I really look forward to every year.

'Our chat was quite brief this year but I don't blame her because it was really cold. She asked me if the flowers were for me and I said yes and gave them to her.'

Ms Kirkwood, who also co-presents BBC One's The Great British Weather, admitted to having a few nerves before giving her speech this afternoon.

She said: 'Travelling up here I was very nervous because I've never had the honour of meeting the Queen but I was also really looking forward to it.

'My speech was about the history of weather forecasting because it's a subject I know a lot about. 'I also spoke about what it is like working at the BBC weather centre, what it's like on BBC breakfast and just funny things about presenting the weather.

'I still can't believe I was stood just a couple of yards in front of her giving my speech and that she laughed at some of the stories I told. She also asked me lots of questions about the weather - particularly about green screens which she seemed to be interested in.'

She added: 'The Queen was amazing. She is a very lovely lady and really funny as well. She was very encouraging about the WI and utterly charming.

'I have not stopped smiling since I have been here and I don't think I'll be able to sleep tonight because I still so excited.'

Ms Kirkwood admitted she was shocked after receiving her invitation to meet the Queen and give a talk at Sandringham.

She continued: 'It was all very modern. I received an e-mail which was followed up by a phone call and I just couldn't believe it.

'It was an yes from me straight away because to be invited to do something like this is a real honour and privilege.'

Mr Kirkwood, who is an ambassador for the Prince's Trust, later added: 'It isn't the first time I have met a member of the Royal family because I have given out Duke of Edinburgh awards at St James' Palace with Prince Edwards and the Duke of Edinburgh.'

The Queen attends a WI meeting each January, while spending Christmas and New Year at Sandringham.

There have been links between female Royals and the institute for almost a century.

Speaking to WI members previously, the Queen told them: 'In this time of change and uncertainty I think the WI's traditional values of playing your part through education and public debate are just as important as ever.

'By helping women to improve their lives and the lives of those around them, the WI is playing a valuable role in both the local community and nationally.'

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