History: Queen set to follow in footsteps of Diana Princess of Wales with visit to Barnardo’s, Barkingside

Diana Princess of Wales with youngsters at Barnardo's in Barkingside during a visit to the headquart

Diana Princess of Wales with youngsters at Barnardo's in Barkingside during a visit to the headquarters in 1985 - Credit: Archant

It may be a push to say kings, queens and princesses are a common sight at Barnardo’s – but it is not as far from the truth as you might think.

Since 1902 the charity – whose headquarters are in Tanners Lane, Barkingside – has had a Royal patron, including four kings, four queens and a princess.

And since 1923, it has had Royal presidents including a duke, a duchess and two princesses.

Once such supporter was Diana, Princess of Wales, who was president of the children’s charity from 1984 to 1996.

In 1985 she came to Barkingside to meet children, receiving flowers from one girl and asking her if she had been cold waiting outside to meet her.


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In those 12 years as president, the Princess of Wales attended more than 100 charity events, and visited the headquarters three times.

But her role as president did not just include greeting people in public, as Barnardo’s former photographer John Kirkham said shortly after her death in 1997.

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“As well as the walkabouts, there were private rooms set aside for her to meet with children and their parents – to talk properly and personally,” he noted.

The Queen will follow in the princesses footsteps on Tuesday when she, together with the Duchess of Cornwall, visits Barnardo’s, Tanners Lane, Barkingside, to officially open its newly built head office.

• Log on to the Recorder on Tuesday for full coverage of the visit.

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