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Her Majesty’s Final Seal of Approval

Residents at Stoke Gifford Retirement Village have been honoured with one of the very last letters sent from The Queen before her sad passing last week.

Back in June residents at ExtraCare’s Stoke Gifford Retirement Village were invited to BBC Radio Bristol’s studio to talk about their Jubilee tribute – a knitted bust of The Queen.

The Knit and Natter group who range in age from 63-93 spent nearly 200 hours creating the bust. The impressive knit then served as the guest of honour at the Jubilee afternoon tea as the 230 residents at the village came together to celebrate.

BBC radio presenter James Hanson asked the group how they would feel if The Queen managed to see their knitted creation and just a few weeks ago they received their answer after a reply was sent with royal approval and pictures from Buckingham Palace.

Visiting the retirement village to surprise the ladies, James presented the letter addressed to him to the group live on air. Admitting they had really hoped Her Majesty would see their creation, the members were delighted with what is now thought to be one of the last replies.

A letter sent on behalf of The Queen from her lady-in-waiting read:

Stoke Gifford retirement village residents knit the Queen for the platinum jubilee
Stoke Gifford retirement village residents knit the Queen for the Platinum Jubilee

“The Queen wishes me to thank you for your letter in which you told Her Majesty that, as part of your celebrations for The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, you interviewed ladies from Stoke Gifford Retirement Village who belong to a knitting group.

Her Majesty was interested to hear the ladies have created a knitted bust of The Queen and to see the splendid photographs which you enclosed. Her Majesty was touched by the care taken by all those involved in this special project.”

With the death of The Queen just last week the residents are all too aware of how precious their final letter has now become. Invited back to discuss the sad news on BBC Radio Bristol the group admitted the gesture was even more poignant now.

Group member Pam commented: “It was brilliant to get the letter at the time but it seems even more brilliant now, it was probably one of the last she wrote.”

Member Pat added : “She’s always been there we’ve always known her, she really was everybody’s Granny.”

Natasheya Archer who conceived the idea for the knit commented: “We were one of the last few people to receive a letter like that and a response from the Queen. It’s something the residents will cherish forever.”

The letter remains with The Knitted Queen at the village where it is now the focal point of an ongoing tribute to a truly incredible monarch.