Anne receives words of support for King and Kate during pony centre visit

The Princess Royal has acknowledged words of support for the King and Princess of Wales as she celebrated the 35th anniversary of a pony club.

Anne nodded and smiled as she was told, “We wish you and your family well at this time” by Sister Mary Joy Langdon, founder and chief executive of the Wormwood Scrubs Pony Centre in west London that hosted the royal visit.

The King’s sister is the latest member of the royal family to receive the support of the public in person after the Prince of Wales acknowledged on Wednesday evening well-wishers who have sent messages for Charles and Kate.

James Hick, chief executive officer of the British Horse Society (BHS) which supports the west London pony club, told Anne: “On behalf of all of us here I would also like to pass on our sincere thoughts to His Majesty the King at this time, and to your family.”

Mr Hick was by the Princess Royal’s side as she met young riders from west London and chatted to BHS staff and supporters of the Wormwood Scrubs Pony Centre.

The Princess Royal
Anne met young riders and chatted to BHS staff and supporters during her visit to the Wormwood Scrubs Pony Centre (James Manning/PA)

“She’s somebody who’s quite private with her thoughts as well, but equally she was grateful for all of us, and feels that love that we have for the family at a very important time.”

TV star Martin Clunes, who is patron of the Wormwood Scrubs Pony Centre and BHS president, joined Anne for the tour of the centre.

Royal visit to Wormwood Scrubs Pony Centre
Sister Mary Joy Langdon, the centre’s founder and chief executive, wished Anne and the royal family well (James Manning/PA)

Stephen Fry has praised the King for revealing his cancer diagnosis to the public, but told BBC’s Today Podcast he was “anxious” for him.

The 66-year-old actor and comedian, who had prostate cancer in 2018, said Charles’s “very swift modernising” of the monarchy now included “an openness about something as personal and indelicate as a cancer”.

The Princess Royal
The Princess Royal watched a pony display and handed out medals at the centre (James Manning/PA)

Charles has postponed all public-facing duties, but is continuing with behind-the-scenes work on his red boxes of state papers.

William may step in to represent his father at an event, but no engagements are scheduled at the moment and the royal palaces will make arrangements if the need arises.

Kate left hospital last Monday and returned to Adelaide Cottage in Windsor to be reunited with her three children, but the 42-year-old is not expected to return to official duties until after Easter.

Martin Clunes, left, and Sister Mary Joy Langdon, second left, look on as the Princess Royal cuts a cake during her visit
TV star Martin Clunes, left, looked on as the Princess Royal cut a cake during her visit (James Manning/PA)

The princess made the guests laugh when she said: “I hope you’ve all had a chance to see this cake because it really is stunning, the instructions on it are ‘you will eat it, if I cut it’ because otherwise it’s just legalised vandalism – enjoy the cake.”

The visit came as a downpour hit the capital and the King’s sister was dressed practically, wearing wellies, a raincoat, gloves and carrying an umbrella.

She seemed relaxed and, as a proficient horsewoman and the BHS’s vice patron, who has spent her life in the equine world, happy to be surrounded by ponies and young riders.

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