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Queen joined by Princess Anne and Sophie at Women’s Institute centenary meeting

The Queen opened the centenary annual meeting of the Women’s Institute (WI) at the Royal Albert Hall in London on Thursday.

The Princess Royal and The Countess of Wessex joined Her Majesty as she received the commemorative baton.

The baton has travelled to some of the WI’s 6,600 branches across 69 federations in England, Wales, Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man.

The WI’s centenary baton has been designed to mark the friendship and community among the organisation’s 212,000 members.

Announcing the meeting open, the Queen congratulated members on their “significant occasion”.

After yesterday’s Tweeting debacle claiming Her Majesty was dead, she looked very much alive smiling as she cut the celebration cake.

The Queen has been a member of the WI since 1943.

“Over the past 100 years the Women’s Institute has continued to grow and evolve with its members to stay relevant and forward-thinking,” Her Majesty said.

“In 2015 the Women’s Institute continues to demonstrate it can make a real difference to the lives of women of all ages and backgrounds.”

Since joining the WI over seven decades years ago, The Queen has attended meetings near her Sandringham estate in Norfolk.

The WI began during World War One to reinvigorate rural communities and inspire women to become more interested in food production amid German naval blockades.

Their reputation for jam making started as part of the wartime effort fo conserve food.

The WI has broadened it’s scope and purpose since then and is currently the largest voluntary women’s organisation in the UK.

On Tuesday, The Duchess of Cornwall and The Countess of Wessex and hosted a garden party at Buckingham Palace to celebrate the institution’s centenary.

During the Garden Party, they had the chance to met some of the WI’s more famous members, the Calendar Girls. The Calendar Girls appeared semi-nude in a calendar to raise money for leukaemia and lymphoma.

Dame Helen Mirren and Julie Walters starred in a 1999 hit film about the Calendar Girls fundraising scheme.

Photo Credit: Scottish Parliament via Flickr

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