Royalty and statesmen

Britons traditionally receive a greeting from the Queen when they reach 100 and every year from their 105th. Catherine, who's 109, was thrilled when, after she pointed out she kept getting the same birthday card, Buckingham Palace sent someone over to apologise...
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Wills pops round to apologise for his grandma's repetitive birthday cards

13 MAY 2009
Catherine Masters was always very grateful for the annual birthday greetings she received from the Queen. But after receiving a card bearing the same image for five years in a row the 109-year-old politely wrote to Buckingham Palace suggesting it might be time for a change.

Imagine her surprise when the royal household went one better, sending Prince William for a personal visit. The Oxfordshire care home where Catherine lives was given five minutes notice that the second in line to the throne was on his way over for a cuppa.

"You should have seen the smile on my face when the handsome young Prince walked in," Catherine said afterwards. "He asked me why I was still so fit and I put it down to a daily tipple of gin until I was 80."

During their 40-minute chat over scones, eclairs and tea Catherine received an apology from her casually dressed royal visitor.

William also promised to ask his grandmother to change her yellow dress in the photo for a new outfit on the next card. "I think either a blue or white one would be nice," he was informed.

A further treat is in store for the great-grandmother, who was born when Queen Victoria was still on the throne. She has been invited to a Buckingham Palace garden party in July.

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