Kind Duchess of Cornwall sends bouquet to Shouldham royal watcher

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An ardent royal watcher was given an extra boost on the road to recovery - a surprise bouquet from the Duchess of Cornwall.

Passionate royalist Mary Relph has been forced to miss the season at Sandringham this year after undergoing a major operation.

This is only the third season since 1988 that Mrs Relph has missed.

But the 80-year-old, of Shouldham, was given a special treat of a hand tied bouquet on Tuesday thanks to the kind Duchess.

The Duchess had sent the bouquet along with a hand written note after being informed of Mrs Relph’s progress by friend Dorothy Head.

Mrs Relph, who is making good progress, said: “I shed a tear or two. It was really lovely of her.

“It is a beautiful bouquet.”

A courier delivered the black box containing the Jane Packer bouquet.

Mrs Relph said: “When I saw the envelope with a ‘C’ on it, I knew it had been sent by Camilla and it was.

“It was a wonderful surprise and helped me a lot.”

The Duchess had included a note wishing Mrs Relph a speedy recovery with “heartfelt feelings”.

The bouquet featured pink roses, hyacinths and orchid.

By coincidence, Mrs Head, who had included the letter in a Christmas card, was with Mrs Relph when the bouquet arrived.

She had received a letter on Saturday from Clarence House informing her that a bouquet would be delivered.

Mrs Head, who lives near Dereham, said: “It was fantastic to be there and to see Mary’s surprise and excitement.

“It was pure coincidence that I was there. Mary had invited me on Sunday.

“It was incredible gesture and so thoughtful. It was the best tonic for Mary.”

Mrs Relph is hoping to make some of the season by getting down to West Newton Church to see one of the Queen’s final appearances before returning to London.

She said: “This is only the third time I have missed a season since 1988. I never usually miss a Sunday.

“The season is the highlight of my year and I look forward to going to Sandringham to see the Queen.

“She always speaks and is a lovely lady. She doesn’t forget a face.”

Three years ago, Mrs Relph received another surprise from the Duchess of Cornwall. She had sent a piece of the wedding cake of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

Mrs Relph said: “That will go with me to my grave.”