We visited Hinton Ampner during the spring holiday with some friends. We’re members of the National Trust, and with only £70.12 a year, we get to visit many historic spots, stately homes, gardens, woodlands and many more.
I was very intrigued by a handwritten letter by the late Queen Mother, who paid an impromptu visit to Hinton Ampner in June, 1972.
A week after her visit, the Queen Mother wrote a letter of thanks, in which she joked about her own garden as being “a positive jungle” – I found this comparison rather amusing.
“Dear Mr Dutton,
It was such a delightful and unexpected pleasure to pay you a visit last week, and I greatly enjoyed seeing the lovely garden, and your beautiful house so full of treasures.
One does not often see a garden so well placed, with sudden exquisite views to thrill one, and my own garden looked a positive jungle after your great walks and splendid (clumps?) of shrubs of roses!
With my warmest thanks to your kindness and hospitality,
I am yours very sincerely Elizabeth R”
I asked one volunteer why the Queen Mother signed her name as Elizabeth R.
I was told that as the Queen Mother Elizabeth used to be Queen, she could still use the title of R — meaning Regina (Latin for Queen).
In that case, I wonder how we could distinguish letters by the Queen Mother, and the current Queen Elizabeth II, as both of them could sign their names as Elizabeth R?
If you have an answer to this, please kindly let me know.