Royal visitors at festival service
THIS week’s Express Cuttings looks back at a piece published in the Ashford Advertiser, a forerunner to the Ashford Extra, on December 17, 1970. It illustrates a somewhat hurried and disrupted visit by the Queen, who attended a ceremony of celebration marking the end of the jubilation of Ashford Parish Church, which had been rebuilt by Sir John Fogge, 500 years before. During the celebration arranged by Canon Neville Sharp and Roger Lawrence, Canon Sharp spoke of man’s movement away from God, and his increasing greed, and hoped that Sir John Fogge felt as much enjoyment witnessing the celebration festival, as he and his colleagues had experienced organising it. The attendance of the Queen for the Sunday service, was in doubt as she had to hurriedly return to London to sign an Order declaring the State of Emergency caused by the Power Crisis, which was regularly in the news back in the 1970s. But, she made an immediate return to the home of Lord and Lady Brabourne at Mersham, where the Royal Party, including Prince Philip, Prince Andrew and Princess Anne, was staying. In the absence of colour newsprint, the reporter describes the Queen wearing an emerald green coat, with matching hat, and Princess Anne wearing knee-high black boots, bright red coat and a sombrero hat. It was just over two years later, that Princess Anne married Captain Mark Phillips in 1973.