Queen's legacy will be huge, says her former chaplain from Albrighton

A West Midlands priest who served as chaplain to the Queen for 13 years has said Her Majesty will leave a huge legacy.

The Rev Pippa Thorneycroft was chaplain to the Queen from 2001 to 2014
The Rev Pippa Thorneycroft was chaplain to the Queen from 2001 to 2014

Rev Pippa Thorneycroft, who lives in Albrighton, was the Queen's chaplain from 2001 to 2014.

"I think her legacy shall be a sense of duty, that most people don't have any more," she said.

"I think she will be hugely regarded, and remembered in a much nicer way than Queen Victoria. She's just given her life to serving the nation, and they haven't always treated her back very well.

"She had a great faith, so she probably never despaired, but I think she probably wasn't always happy with the way things were going. She just had to grin and bear it."

Mrs Thorneycroft, the daughter of the well-known industrialist and philanthropist Philip Mander, said she always felt very nervous on the occasions when she met the Queen, but said the monarch was very good at putting people at ease.

"I was always worried about the practicalities, whether to curtsey, whether to call her Ma'am once or 10 times, the first time I made a pretty good hash of it," she said.

"The second time, I asked her a question, which you are not supposed to do, but I asked her 'Why have you got a pope on your wall?'

"When I asked that, she really became quite animated, I think we were in the Waterloo Room, and there was a portrait, I think, of a 19th century pope on the wall.

"When I asked this she explained to me that all the people on the wall were the signatories to a treaty, and the Pope was one of the parties to the treaty.

"I was so glad I asked the question. I think she learned so much about the history of the monarchy and what she had around her, she knew such a lot, and from then I decided I would always ask a question."

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