THE organiser of Princess Anne’s trip to Ellesmere to celebrate the legacy of Save the Children founder Eglantyne Jebb has called it the ‘perfect day’.

Her Royal Highness spent around an hour at the Jebb Memorial Garden, close to The Mere, where sculptures dedicated to Eglantyne and her sister Dorothy Buxton are stationed, talking to Save the Children members, locally and nationally, plus members of the public, even sharing a few jokes.

Princess Anne also heard pupils from primary schools from across the area sing, though insisted as ever that they continue to work, before departing.


She had earlier visited the sisters’ childhood home of Lyth House and John Shone, who co-ordinated the day, admitted his pride at Ellesmere’s turnout and support.

 “I’m absolutely proud of the town coming out to see Princess Anne – I’m so glad the sun shone for us and it’s been a brilliant day,” he said

“The Princess was absolutely wonderful and she took a lot of time to stop to talk to people and were so interested in what we had done with the Jebb Garden.

“It was a good boost for her I think in promoting Save the Children.

“The day really couldn’t have gone much better and the fact is, she took a true ‘walk around the garden’ and as a country woman, I think Princess Anne enjoyed it.

“She realised the weather could have been a bit sticky but we’ve had a fine day and she enjoyed it.

“The fact that she stayed on to listen to the children sing their final song, accepted her flowers and the book about refugees shows she had a great interest and understanding about what this is about.”

Her Royal Highness, who had earlier been introduced to VIP guests including mayor Councillor Anne Wignall, North Shropshire MP Helen Morgan, local Shropshire councillor Geoff Elner and King’s Chaplain Rev Pat Hawkins, spoke at length with sculpture group chairman, Len Graham.

He said: “We’re proud and grateful that The Princess Royal has found time to visit the Jebb Garden.

“This has been a wide-ranging project, involving all sectors of the community. Everyone who has contributed should rightly feel proud to receive this recognition.

“As Patron, the Princess has been a dedicated, hard-working supporter of Save the Children over more than 50 years.

“We hope this visit will help to raise awareness of the vital work the charity carries out around the world, and also remind everyone that it all began here in Ellesmere –with the humanity and vision of two determined sisters with a strong social conscience, who are too-often forgotten.”

Gemma Sherrington, interim chief executive of Save the Children UK, added: “Eglantyne and Dorothy’s lifelong dedication to campaign and advocate for children’s rights is the reason that Save the Children exists today.

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“The Jebb Memorial Garden was created to celebrate their pioneering work and commitment to transforming the lives of millions of children across the globe.

“We are delighted that Save the Children’s Patron, Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal visited the memorial garden in the sisters’ birthplace and met with their descendants as well as local fundraisers.

“We are always incredibly grateful for the Princess Royal’s support.”