Warm welcome for Queen in tour of British Legion facility for veterans

Cheers and shouts of “God save the Queen” greeted the monarch as she arrived in Kent on Wednesday.

The Queen smiled as she got out of her limousine, wearing a deep purple coat and matching hat.

The royal was in Aylesford to tour facilities designed to support armed forces veterans and their families, ahead of Remembrance Day.

The Queen
The Queen spoke to dozens of people during her tour (Michael Drummond/PA)

She was greeted at Centenary Village, run by the Royal British Legion Industries (RBLI) charity, and met war veterans and their families.

The Queen took her time speaking to dozens of people, listening to their stories of service for the country all over the world and in numerous different conflicts.

The village houses specialist accommodation for armed forces personnel and veterans and their families, as well as those with a disability and the long-term unemployed.

Onlookers gathered to catch a glimpse of the Queen
Onlookers gathered to catch a glimpse of the Queen (Michael Drummond/PA)

The new Appleton Lodge is the latest part of the £22 million Centenary Village development which, when complete, will provide homes and welfare support, as well as a community for vulnerable veterans.

RBLI, which was formed in 1919 to provide support to sick and wounded soldiers returning from the First World War, launched a campaign in 2019 to build the Centenary Village, which the charity says will see it support hundreds of the most in-need ex-servicemen and women every year for another century.

At every turn, the Queen was met with beaming smiles from the hundreds of schoolchildren, veterans, families and staff gathered at the village.

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