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Shropshire's Royal Visit

Her Majesty Queen Camilla, being escorted by Freemason Stuart Jones


In December 2023, Shrewsbury Farmers Markets received an email asking them to put on a Market for VIPs without further information. Little did they know then that the request had come from the Royal Palace in recognition of the reputation of Shrewsbury Farmers Market.

Stuart Jones and his wife Jennifer, along with their primary business of farming, have been associated with Shrewsbury Farmers Market for 18 years, running it completely for 14 years.

The market won Best Farmers Market in Shropshire and North Wales in 2020 and has become recognised as a leading market in the region.
The market is packed with diverse gold award-winning producers and an international award winner in Tootsweets confectionery. Pennant Valley Game has also just won the Countryside Alliance award for best butcher in Wales.

The market regularly receives visitors from around the country who, in particular, enjoy the street food, which represents cuisine from all parts of the world. Shrewsbury is a historic market town of significance and welcomes large numbers of international tourists each year.
The VIP event was due to take place earlier in the year but was postponed, coinciding with the sad news of His Majesty receiving medical treatment.

Shrewsbury Farmers Market was delighted to hear that the event would be rescheduled for Wednesday, March 27th.
Due to obvious security reasons, they could only divulge information to the general public a week before the event. It certainly came as a huge surprise to all when they found out their special guest was to be Her Majesty Queen Camilla.

Liaising with the Lord Lieutenant of Shropshire, Mrs Anna Turner, Shropshire Council, Shrewsbury Town Council, and the Police over several site visits and meetings ensured that all was in place in good time for the event.

From early in the morning, the public turned out in their thousands to catch a glimpse of Her Majesty. Luckily, just before she arrived, the sun came out and was glorious, unlike recent months here in Shropshire.

Her Majesty arrived at noon to rapturous applause and cheers of acclamation from the large crowd assembled. There was a great sense of excitement in the air. She greeted the welcoming party warmly, and Stuart was honoured to escort Her Majesty for the duration of the visit.
The day before the event, Stuart was contacted by a lady whose daughter has Down syndrome and who is a huge fan of Her Majesty. He met them prior to the Queen’s arrival to ascertain their position in the crowd and mentioned she would have a special visit, which Her Majesty kindly undertook, spending time talking to her daughter in a wonderfully personal way.

During the visit, Her Majesty visited many of the stallholders and signed a visitor book that the late Queen Elizabeth II had signed on a previous visit. She also spent time meeting members of the public who gave many gifts, such as flowers, cards, and one painting by a local artist of their Majesties.

All involved were struck with how genuinely kind and warm Her Majesty was and the natural way she interacted with everyone.

Shropshire Freemasons were much in evidence on the day, with Provincial Grand Master Roger Pemberton in attendance and the Shropshire Brass Band led by Steven Pritchard Jones. The Provincial Grand Master kindly allowed them to wear their Provincial ties for the occasion.

It was a tremendous honour to be involved so closely with the visit, which was a memorable day for their county town.


Her Majesty Queen Camilla, being escorted by Freemason Stuart Jones

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