The Queen visits Welney

PUBLISHED: 09:35 29 January 2008 | UPDATED: 08:20 02 June 2010

The Queen on her visit to Welney Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust.

The Queen on her visit to Welney Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust.

THE Queen brought a touch of warmth to a cold Fenland day on Monday and delighted onlookers with her smile. Royal watchers were especially pleased to get close to her majesty as she was introduced to an official line-up of guests. Friends Ellen Hooper and

The Queen on her visit to Welney Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust.

THE Queen brought a touch of warmth to a cold Fenland day on Monday and delighted onlookers with her smile.

Royal watchers were especially pleased to get close to her majesty as she was introduced to an official line-up of guests.

Friends Ellen Hooper and Barbara Scrimgeour from Manea were excited at being able to see the Queen so close to home. Mrs Scrimgeour said: "I have never seen her close up and I thought it would be nice to come today."

The day was also exciting for three-year-old Kieran Markham whose mum, Sarah Markham and grandma, Margaret Markham, both work at the centre. He was accompanied by granddad Dennis Markham and auntie Lisa Peel. "It is a bit of a family concern for us and we are quite excited about it," said Mr Markham.

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For Mary Relph of Shouldham the visit was just about another day of royal watching. Mrs Relph follows the Queen and other members of the royal family from one end of the country to another. She said: "I have followed them right from being a little girl, from when I knew there was a queen."

Mrs Relph had the privilege of having a conversation with the queen while she was staying at Balmoral in Scotland last year. When the queen is at Sandringham, Mrs Relph visits every day.

And as the Queen went into the centre the verdict from onlookers was that she was very smart in her blue and black checked outfit and that she was much smaller than she appears on television.

EXCITEMENT built up at Upwell Primary School during Monday as Year Four pupils got ready for their meeting with the Queen.

They were also looking forward to their tour of the eco-friendly visitor centre and the chance to watch the wonderful sight of the swans flying in.

Teacher Deborah Hopkins had been discussing the trip with her 16 pupils and they had also been finding out some facts about the Queen.

But it is not the first time Mrs Hopkins has come into close contact with royalty. Her husband Peter is head teacher of a school in king's Lynn and the couple receive an invitation to a cocktail party held by the Queen while she is in residence at Sandringham.

Head teacher Fiona Rickard also accompanied the pupils as they left the school in a coach to make the trip to Welney.

She had booked the trip last term and was surprised to be told that the trip coincided with the Queen's visit.

Mrs Rickard said: "It was just a brilliant coincidence. I was quite amazed and it will be a wonderful experience for the children. They are very excited."

The visit is part of their curriculum studies and the pupils were going to find out how the swans are tracked and tagged before watching them being fed.

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