ANMER: Royal couple would be welcomed by villagers - SEE PICS
Speculation that Anmer Hall, the six-bedroomed Georgian mansion on the royal estate, is being lined up as a country home for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge has created a stir in the tiny village.
Yesterday, the Lynn News called in to see some of the villagers who could have Prince William and Catherine as neighbours in a few years time if, as suggested in some national newspapers, the Queen is preparing to gift the property to the couple, who are expecting their first child.
Anmer contains less than 40 homes and most of those living there either work for the royal estate or rent their properties from the Queen, so by nature they tend to be loyal and royalist to the core.
And this was certainly reflected by those we spoke to who all said they would be delighted to see the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge spending time among them, renewing the royal connection some of them previously experienced when the Duke and Duchess of Kent and their family lived at Anmer Hall between 1972 and 1990.
Karen Melhado, who rents her home at 24 Anmer, said: “It would be brilliant to have William and Kate here. I have been here since May 2007 and when you see the royals come through the village it’s always nice to see them – they are always courteous and polite.”
She said it would not worry her if the presence of the high-profile royal couple drew lots of reporters, photographers and curious royal-watchers to Anmer as villagers were used to seeing lots of visitors to the royal estate during the Queen’s winter breaks here.
She believes the couple’s first child will be a girl and is looking forward to seeing them bring the baby to this area, whether to live at Anmer Hall or while staying at Sandringham House.
Ms Melhado pointed out: “At the hall, they will have the church of St Mary the Virgin on their doorstep. We had a nice Christmas carol service in there followed by mince pies and mulled wine at Anmer Social Club afterwards.
“It would be nice if the Duke and Duchess were able to come to a future service, if they were up this way at that time of year. The bells in the church have just been restored and Prince Charles is the patron.”
Eighty-two-year-old Neville Warnes, of 7 Anmer, has lived in the village for 74 years since his father found work with a tenant farmer on the estate. Mr Warnes worked on the same farm for 51 years.
He said: “If we were to have the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge come to live here, it can’t be anything but good for the village and we would welcome them.
“There would have to be some changes, we understand that, with a bit more security and that kind of thing. But I would hope that people would let them walk about here and live their lives without interference.
“When the Duke and Duchess of Kent were here, they used to walk through the village and have a word with the people they came across and it was lovely they could do so. If I was out the front, we used to discuss the garden and things like that.”
A woman living in one of the cottages, who asked not to be named, said she was sure the village as a whole would welcome the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. She said: “The Duchess of Kent took part in the WI here and I would like to think that William and Kate would also become part of the local community.”
She said there were always photographers parked in local lanes during the Royal Family’s new year holiday, so it would not be that much different if the royal couple were living at Anmer Hall.
She added: “I would have no problems with it at all, and I’m sure it would be less of an intrusion once the novelty of them being here had worn off.”
Another villager, who also asked not to be named, said people in Anmer often saw the Queen and other members of the Royal Family driving through and paid them the usual courtesies that they would any other local person.
She said: “The royals have been here for heaven knows how many years and the Duke and Duchess of Kent actually lived in Anmer. If the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge come to live here, there will be enough bodyguards around so it will probably make this a safer place to be.”
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Weather for King's Lynn
Friday 24 May 2013
Temperature: 5 C to 10 C
Wind Speed: 23 mph
Wind direction: North east
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Wind direction: North