For her second public engagement of the year, Queen Elizabeth didn't even have to (technically) leave her home. This morning, the British monarch officially opened Wolferton's new pumping station, which sits on Sandringham Estate, the royal family's private residence in Norfolk.
The new station is replacing a 72-year-old original, which the Queen's father, King George VI, opened soon after World War II. The royal family's official Twitter account shared a photo of George VI opening the old station, accompanied by the Queen Mother and Princess Margaret.
Today, The Queen will open Wolferton’s new Pumping Station, 72 years after her Father, King George VI, opened the original station on 2 February 1948.— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) February 5, 2020
📸 George Vl with Queen Elizabeth & Princess Margaret at the official opening. pic.twitter.com/dP1FE0XCs7
The Queen was able to view the plaque that her father had unveiled in 1948, before unveiling her own and signing the visitor's book. It was likely particularly meaningful time to revisit a site connected to her father, as tomorrow marks the 68th anniversary of King George VI's death, and the Queen's ascension to the throne. Traditionally, the Queen's winter vacation lasts until after February 5, but she returned to the public eye a few days early with an engagement on Monday.
Regardless of the event's somber undertones, the monarch appeared to be in high spirits in photographs, often flashing a wide smile. She toured the station and spoke with staffers, some of whom had been working there for over 20 years, maintaining equipment that had been "keeping Norfolk’s feet dry" for 70 years (their words).
She also seemed to make a playful allusion to the day's activity with her very fashionable headscarf. The design, which features lily pads, fallen leaves, and other plants growing in shallow water, was well-suited to exploring Sandringham's marshland.
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