December 9 2013 Latest news:
Thursday, March 1, 2012
Royal trio the Queen, Duchess of Cambridge and Duchess of Cornwall were at the luxury Fortnum & Mason department store in central London today to mark the regeneration of the Piccadilly area.
Kate, the newest addition to the royal family, smiled broadly and chatted to London Mayor Boris Johnson, who was among the dignitaries who greeted the royal guests as they arrived.
The three royal women toured the famous food hall at shop – known as the Queen’s grocer – before being presented with a Fortnum’s hamper, containing delicacies including champagne truffles.
They laughed as they rummaged through their goodies and spotted the “hearty treats for happy hounds” dog treats which were included.
The hampers were opened ahead of a quintessentially English tea party on the fourth floor of the luxury store.
At a table laid out with gilded china, the Queen met members of the Weston family, owners of the 300-year-old retailer, before conversing with employees past and present.
Among them was Joan Goff, 86, who worked at Fortnum’s during the Second World War.
Mrs Goff, who was first employed at the age of 14 and is two months the Queen’s junior, told how she was paid 10 shillings a week as an apprentice tailor in the early 1940s.
“I worked here just after the war started,” she said.
“I was here for nearly six years and was here during the air raids when we used to run down to the basement. Sometimes I would run for the shelter as I got off the train.”
A small crowd had gathered outside including a group protesting about foie gras sales.