Princess Anne’s visit is a success despite fog delaying her arrival

Princess Anne talks to Yasmin Ingham while opening  Ballavartyn Equestrian Centre

Princess Anne talks to Yasmin Ingham while opening Ballavartyn Equestrian Centre

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Princess Anne’s busy diary was packed even tighter after fog delayed her arrival.

Despite the late start on Tuesday, she managed to carry out all her official engagements.

The Princess Royal was met by owners, riders and staff at Ballavartyn Equestrian Centre, where she was shown round some of the purpose-built facilities.

She unveiled a plaque to mark the official opening and was presented with flowers from owners Ken and Saskia’s son Arthur.

Mr Blaymire said it was ‘marvellous’ that Princess Anne opened the centre.

‘It was absolutely brilliant,’ he said.

‘She was very interested in all of the facilities and took the time to meet lots of horses.’

He described her as being ‘very down to earth’.

Princess Anne also visited St German’s Cathedral for a briefing on the Cathedral Redevelopment Campaign to create ‘a new national cultural venue’.

She has accepted the role of patron for the £10 million project.

Bishop Robert Paterson, who welcomed the Princess Royal to the cathedral, said: ‘I am delighted that the cathedral is leading the way for the island in providing a first-class visitor destination.

‘And we are thrilled to have the support of the Princess Royal as we embark on our fundraising challenge.’

Fundraising campaign chairman John Morphet was also at the cathedral.

At the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture’s headquarters in St John’s, the Princess Royal spoke to forestry experts, Manx beekeepers and food producers including veal suppliers and the Apple Orphanage.

And she heard first-hand of the impact of the snow on the farming community last March from sheep farmer Trevor Quirk.

At Isle of Man Prison, in Jurby she was shown round some of the facilities, opened in 2008, met staff and heard about restorative justice regimes.

Princess Anne has visited the island on a number of occasions dating back to the 1970s. She last visited the island in 2008, when she officially opened Rebecca House children’s hospice.

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