Museum receives special note from the Queen after holding royal event

Diss Museum manager Basil Abbott with letter from the Queen's Lady-in-Waiting.

Diss Museum manager Basil Abbott with letter from the Queen's Lady-in-Waiting. - Credit: Sonya Duncan

The manager of a Norfolk museum has shared his joy on receiving a special letter of thanks from the Queen, after holding an event reenacting a visit from the monarch's great-grandparents 156 years ago.

Basil Abbott had written to Her Majesty to send his congratulations on her Platinum Jubilee and to make the Queen aware of Diss Museum's "royal return" celebration, which took place earlier this month.

The event, which marked the museum's reopening after being shut for two years during the pandemic, celebrated King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra's visit to the town.

The couple passed through the east end of Diss on their way to stay at Oakley Park in 1866, when they were Prince and Princess of Wales. It was the town's only royal visit. Mr Abbott said the town celebrated as though it was an official visit.

At the reenactment earlier this month, around 100 people gathered outside the museum on Market Place, many in Edwardian costume - while the 'royal couple' were driven in a vintage car. They were depicted by Bernard Thorndyke and Keshar Whitelock.

Crowds gathered to welcome a reenactment of the Royal Family to celebrate the reopening of Diss Mus

Crowds gathered to welcome a reenactment of the Royal Family to celebrate the reopening of Diss Museum. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

Crowds gathered to welcome a reenactment of the Royal Family to celebrate the reopening of Diss Mus

People dressed in Edwardian costumes gathered outside the museum to celebrate its special royal event. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

Following the reopening event, Mr Abbott was surprised to receive a special letter of thanks from the Queen's lady-in-waiting and a card from Buckingham Palace with a picture of the Queen.

Diss Museum has received a letter and card of thanks for its Platinum Jubilee well wishes.

Diss Museum has received a letter and card of thanks for its Platinum Jubilee well wishes. - Credit: Sonya Duncan

The letter expressed Her Majesty's interest in the museum's reopening event and thanked Mr Abbott for his well wishes on the occasion of her Platinum Jubilee.

Mr Abbott said: "It is such a great honour and we were very proud to get it. Everyone is delighted.

"The event itself went wonderfully well."

Diss Museum manager Basil Abbott received a letter of thanks from the Queen's lady-in-waiting.

Diss Museum manager Basil Abbott received a letter of thanks from the Queen's lady-in-waiting. - Credit: Sonya Duncan

Most Read

The letter, sent on behalf of the Queen by Annabel Whitehead, read: "The Queen greatly appreciated your kind good wishes, and Her Majesty was interested to hear about the celebratory event planned for the re-opening of the museum on 12th March with a reenactment of the visit made to the town in 1866 by the Prince and Princess of Wales.

"The Queen is most grateful to you for writing as you did."

Item part of Diss Museum's Platinum Jubilee display.

Item part of Diss Museum's Platinum Jubilee display. - Credit: Sonya Duncan

The museum manager said he may get the note framed and display it in the museum.

He added that the reopening earlier this month was the "perfect start to the town's Platinum Jubilee celebrations".

Displays at Diss Museum.

Displays at Diss Museum. - Credit: Sonya Duncan