On Friday 1st December, excitement hit Swanley in Kent as the Princess Royal came to visit.

Princess Anne flew in via helicopter and greeted the crowd in Swanley, before she opened the new Citizens Advice Bureaux in the Swanley Square. An audience gathered eagerly around the Swanley Centre to witness this rare event.

Due to her position as the Patron of the National Association of Citizens Advice Bureaux, Princess Anne (the daughter of Queen Elizabeth II), alongside other local MPs, made a speech before unveiling a plaque and opening the new centre for the first time.

The Citizens Advice network is an independent charity across England and Wales. The trained volunteers give valuable advice to all clients about several different problems that they may be facing. For example: money, housing or employment issues. They also provide guidance with any concerns about health. The aim of the charity is to help everyone to find a way forward and I believe that this new centre will have a positive impact on everyone living in the local area.

The manager of Wilkinson in Swanley was lucky enough to see the big reveal with Princess Anne. She explained that she was ‘a bit shocked to be honest’ and that there were ‘quite a lot of people’ who were watching because it isn’t every day that a member of the Royal Family comes to Swanley!

Another witness, Linda, who is a cleaner in the local secondary school (Orchards Academy) explained that: ‘I think that Princess Anne is lovely. I was so excited when I saw her. I love the Royals. I used to remember when my Mum and Dad watched the Royals. I always wanted to be a Princess.’

It is clear to see that Princess Anne’s visit has spread both surprise and happiness throughout the local community in Swanley and I believe that the opening of the new Citizens Advice centre will have numerous benefits on the community.

Emily Hollands

Farringtons School