Queen to visit armed forces veterans’ charity


Eager onlookers are gathering to catch a glimpse of the Queen on her visit to a veterans’ charity in Kent.

The monarch will be in Aylesford on Wednesday, touring facilities designed to support armed forces veterans and their families, ahead of Remembrance Day.

She will visit the Centenary Village and meet its oldest resident – 99-year old Second World War veteran John Riggs.

She will also officially open the new Appleton Lodge care facility.

Both the Centenary Village and Appleton Lodge are run by Royal British Legion Industries (RBLI), which is a national charity supporting armed forces personnel and veterans and their families, as well as those with a disability and people who have been long-term unemployed.

It provides support through accommodation, welfare, training and employment.

Appleton Lodge, named after First World War frontline nurse Edith Appleton, offers high-quality care for 15 residents as well as day care for locals who need support with health, nutritional, social and daily living needs.

During her visit, the Queen will see how residents are benefiting from the recreational and social activities on offer, including arts and crafts, flower arranging, and reading sessions with local schoolchildren.

She will unveil a plaque to officially open the facility.

The Queen will also visit the RBLI Centenary Village, to see the completed first phase of the development, which includes 24 specially-adapted apartments for wounded former military personnel.

She will also be shown plans for the next phase, which will support hundreds of ex-servicemen and women into the future.

She will get the opportunity to meet village residents, including Mr Riggs, and staff of the on-site social enterprise, Britain’s Bravest Manufacturing Company, and join a lunch celebration for the charity’s 100th anniversary.

With an eye to future generations, the Queen will also bury a time capsule at the Centenary Village to commemorate the visit, to be opened in 100 years’ time.