Countess of Wessex visits St Albans’ Highfield Park

The Countess of Wessex

The Countess of Wessex - Credit: Archant

A ST Albans schoolboy has vowed never to wash one of his hands again after it was clasped in a very royal handshake with the Countess of Wessex during a visit to Highfield Park yesterday.

Members of Highfield Park Trust welcomed the Countess to the beauty spot where she met nursery and school pupils and representatives of community groups who have either helped plant its new woodland or base recreational activities there.

She also met Lady Verulam, St Albans MP Anne Main and Mayor Cllr Eileen Harris before concluding her visit to Highfield at charity Earthworks’ base at the park.

The relaxed Countess charmed everyone she met as she joked about keeping fit, urged the trust to introduce beehives to the community orchard and discussed earthworms with a pupil from Ladybirds Nursery.

But she made a particular impression upon William Longhurst, who attends Camp Primary and Nursery School.

When asked what it was like meeting royalty, he grinned from ear-to-ear and exclaimed: “She shook my hand! I’m never going to wash this hand again.”

Wearing a red dress with a zip along one side and black jacket, the Countess also impressed Mrs Main after she walked across the newly planted Hither Wood in stilettos, before planting an English Oak tree.

Most Read

Richard Bull, park manager, said the trust was “very grateful the Countess has given her blessing for Hither Wood”.

It is a new 6,800 tree woodland planted as part of the Woodland Trust’s Jubilee woods project.