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Last Updated: Wednesday, 19 May, 2004, 17:36 GMT 18:36 UK
Queen visits Victoria's retreat
The Queen shares a joke with John Sugget, Chairman of the Isle of Wight Steam Railway
The Queen on her visit to the Isle of Wight Steam Railway
The Queen has planted a palm tree at the family home of Queen Victoria to celebrate its 100th year as a tourist site.

Her Majesty was able to mark the occasion in the garden of Osborne House on the Isle of Wight, with the help of TV gardener Alan Titchmarsh.

The Chusan palm is descended from the original Chusan planted by Queen Victoria on her birthday in 1851.

The Queen was accompanied by The Duke of Edinburgh on Wednesday.

'Hospitality and warmth'

The new tree was grown from a cutting from the original tree, which died last year.

The Queen said: "I am pleased to be able to visit Osborne in the 100th year of the house being open to the public and glad to find it is being so well looked after.

"The Isle of Wight is well known for its hospitality and the warmth of your welcome today is greatly appreciated."

Mr Titchmarsh said: "She has planted more trees than I have but she is an interested gardener.

"She is more interested than a lot of people give her credit for. She likes her gardens to evolve."

During her visit, Her Majesty met youngsters and staff at Beaulieu House - a respite care centre for children with disabilities in Newport.

She also took a ride on a steam train from Wootton to Havenstreet on the newly-refurbished Isle of Wight Steam Railway.

The Duke of Edinburgh separately visited the Cowes Combined Clubs social centre and toured the GKN Aerospace factory in East Cowes.

The Royal party - who arrived in Newport by helicopter - ended the tour by visiting a farmers' market in Thomas' Square, where they met local producers and organisers of the Isle of Wight Walking Festival.



Queen Victoria remembered
22 Jan 01  |  UK News

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