A TOUCH of royalty came to a historic country house near Ledbury last weekend.

Princess Alexandra, the Queen’s cousin, stopped off at Hellens in Much Marcle to open a converted 18th- century stable which will be used for residential courses.

The 76-year-old, who is 44th in line to the throne, is patron of the Pennington Mellor Munthe Charity Trust, which runs the Herefordshire property. The visit was one of the first engagements for the royal after she was forced to cancel many summer events due to illness.

She was met at the property by the trust’s chairman Adam Munthe and told him how impressed she was by Hellens.

Princess Alexandra then unveiled a plaque outside the stable which will be used by the community for educational classes including art and cookery.

Also in attendance was the Lord Lieutenant of Herefordshire, Lady Darnley, Bob Tabor, the High Sherriff of Herefordshire and Councillor Olwyn Barnett, Chairman of Herefordshire Council. A concert featuring the Razumovsky string quartet ended the visit.