On Tuesday evening, The Queen, Countess of Wessex, and Princess Alexandra attended a reception honouring the work and service of the Princess. The event was held in the picture gallery of Buckingham Palace. For over fifty years, Princess Alexandra has worked with over 100 charities ranging from healthcare, communities, art, education and culture.
Princess Alexandra, The Queen’s cousin, has come a long way from being one of her bridesmaids at the age of ten. She will celebrate her 80th birthday on Christmas day.
The Queen, Princess Alexandra, and the Countess of Wessex met with representatives, supporters, staff, and volunteers at the reception from 100 charities that the Princess serves as Patron or President. One such organisation was Sight Savers, a UK-based organisation that works to prevent avoidable blindness. Guide Dogs For The Blind was also represented. The Countess of Wessex petted a guide dog and met its handler at the ceremony.
Lieutenant Nicola Stephen and Leading Seaman Hannah Watson, of HMS Kent, which was launched by Alexandra in 1998, told The Associated Press The Queen asked about their experiences as women in the navy. They told Her Majesty that the number of female naval officers was growing.
Ms Watson laughed as she told The Associated Press: “It’s different attire than what we’re used to!”
Princess Alexandra spoke with members of the British National Opera, which she has served as Patron for over thirty years. The charity’s chief executive, Cressida Pollock, told The Associated Press: ‘She is a supportive and steady presence in the role and has been particularly helpful during “difficult and challenging times”.’
Ms Pollock said of the Princess whose a Verdi fan: “She’s very honest about the productions she does like and the ones she doesn’t.
“She’s always interested in it being great theatre and great music.
“(But) she doesn’t like it when it’s too brutal.”
Princess Alexandra addressed the reception. You can read her words below:
“First, I must thank Your Majesty for your kind generosity in giving this wonderful Reception.
“Many of you here this evening represent organisations with whom The Queen has been affiliated for over 60 years. There are others, passed on to me from Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother and from my own Mother, Princess Marina.
“Today, by coincidence, is the date of the Wedding Anniversary of my parents.
“The success of a Charity relies heavily on the dedication of hard-working volunteers and I am proud to know of the excellent progress you continue to make in the many different fields represented here – from the Armed Services, Community and Social Services, Culture, Education, the Environment and Health Services.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, in celebration of all that you do, I am sure that Her Majesty joins me in wishing you all an enjoyable evening.”