'That's why I am wearing one!' Queen's surprising choice stuns Theresa May during visit

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Her Majesty delighted royal fans as she paid a surprise visit to Maidenhead on Friday to open the new £22million Thames Hospice building. Accompanied by her daughter the Princess Royal, the Queen appeared in good spirits and, despite having experienced episodic mobility issues in the past months, she walked around the hospice only with the support of a light walking stick to meet as many volunteers, staff and patients as possible.

Among those in attendance was also local MP and former Prime Minister Theresa May.

The ex-leader of the Conservative Party donned a formal cream and white outfit paired with a blue hat, perfectly apt for the occasion.

However, upon the arrival of the royal party, the MP was surprised to see that both the Queen and Princess Anne had decided to ditch any form of head covering.

Speaking to 59-year-old Allison Sharpe, a volunteer at Thames Hospice also in attendance at yesterday’s royal engagement, Mrs May joked: “I was sure the Queen would wear a hat, that’s why I’m wearing one.” 

The sovereign normally wears hats when carrying out engagements outside of her residence.

However, she may have decided against donning one on Friday due to the extremely warm temperatures sweeping across the UK.

Sharing more details about the visit, announced only last minute to the press and the public, Mrs Sharpe said the excitement ahead of the royals’ arrival was clearly “palpable”.

Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk, the volunteer said: “It was thrilling, it was magical actually. 

READ MORE: Queen laughs as chat with hospice user interrupted by husband’s phone

“She was sparkling, so happy and obviously very pleased to be doing the visit.

“I’m sure she must get quite frustrated with her mobility issues, so she was obviously well enough to be able to come out for the day. It just made it so special.

“The expectation and excitement of seeing her was palpable.

“You could feel that through the crowd there.” 

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Sharing a candid impression of the people in attendance when they were able to see the sovereign in the flesh, Mrs Sharpe added: “We were all a bit taken back by how little she is – many people were saying they just wanted to give her a hug.”

The Queen has long been associated with Thames Hospice, which provides a home away from home and palliative care to people suffering from life-limiting illnesses.

She first opened one of the charity’s hospices in Windsor in November 1987.

Yesterday’s trip to Maidenhead marked the Queen’s fourth official visit to the organisation. 

During the visit to the hospice, the monarch looked quite firm on her feet as she bent down to shake hands with Pat White, a stage 4 cancer patient who sat on a green chair.

Just as the 96-year-old monarch and Mrs White were being introduced, the phone of her husband Graham White started ringing.

Taking it under her stride, the monarch made light of the situation saying: “His phone instantly rings.”

Mr White explained it was his son ringing him and that he was sure he had turned off his phone.

Following their meeting with the Queen, Mrs White described it as “very emotional” and a “memory I will treasure”.

Asked about her husband’s phone call, Mrs White laughed and said: “I could have killed him. 

“People think the Queen is all stiff upper lip but she has a sense of humour.”

During the engagement, Her Majesty also took the time to speak to members of the staff and marked her visit by unveiling a plaque and signing the guestbook.

After her departure from the hospice, Princess Anne remained to tour the facility further.

Mrs Sharpe said: “After the Queen then left, Princess Anne stayed on to chat to the workers and staff and those that were around.

“I’m not sure she saw any patients but she was very interested in the work being done.” 



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