The Countess of Wessex and her daughter, Lady Louise, celebrated the centenary of the Brownies on Wednesday.
Sophie, patron of the Brownies, hosted a tea party on the lawns of Buckingham Palace to mark their 100th birthday. Louise, aged ten, is also part of the nationwide youth group.
Agnes Baden-Powell set up the Girl Guides Association in 1910, as a counterpart group to the Scouts, created by Robert Baden-Powell, her brother. The Brownies came along in 1914, and were initially called the ‘Rosebuds’, changed to the Brownies a year later. The group was created as a junior section, for those under 11.
Rainbows, another sub-group of the Girl Guides Association, is for girls from 5-7, with Brownies the next stage up to the age of 11, and the Guides is where Brownies end their time girl-guiding.
50 Brownies from across the country were selected to attend the exclusive tea-party, called the Big Brownie Birthday, with Sophie and Louise, making the gardens of The Queen’s London residence awash with yellow and brown, the colours of the Brownie uniform. The group played a large-scale version of Jenga and connect-4 with the backdrop of Buckingham Palace and rubbing shoulders with Royalty.
A special cake was made for the occasion, featuring sugar-craft Brownies doing a variety of activities, such as camping, stargazing and playing Jenga!
It seems Lady Louise is a keen Brownie, holding many badges on her sash, including the ‘Friends to animals’ badge, gained for demonstrating awareness of pets or other animals, such as those in zoos or endangered species, learning about animal charities and their work, and practical skills, like what to do if you find a sick or stray animal. Louise also holds the ‘sixer’ badge, showing she is the leader of group in the pack (normally six to a group), which seems to be the Hedgehogs.
The girls were even lucky enough to play some tennis with UK number 1 female player, Laura Robson, who is not playing in Wimbledon this year due to an injury.
Photo with thanks to @Chief_Guide/Gill Slocombe