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Victoria and John Pryor's 1999 wedding, in the Royal Chapel, Windsor Great Park. To the left of the bride are her mother, Margaret Rhodes, the Queen Mother and Queen. On the far right is Princess Margaret.
By ALEX HURRELL, Reporter
Tuesday, June 5, 2012
A north Norfolk delicatessen owner will be serving up jubilee punch and cake to customers today in honour of a woman who is her mother’s first cousin, childhood playmate and lifelong friend - the Queen.
Victoria Pryor’s wedding guests when she married her second husband John in 1999 included her godmother, the Queen, the Queen Mother and Princess Margaret.
Mrs Pryor, 58, is the daughter of the Hon Margaret Rhodes, nee Elphinstone, whose own mother, Mary Bowes-Lyon, was the Queen Mother’s sister.
Mrs Rhodes was one of the Queen’s bridesmaids and would have attended her at her coronation in 1953 but was pregnant at the time with Victoria, the second of her four children.
Mrs Pryor and her husband run the Picnic Fayre deli in Cley-next-the-Sea and will be handing out homemade sponge cake and a punch based on the Queen’s favourite tipple, Dubonnet.
Tomorrow Mrs Pryor is off to Windsor Castle to see her mother who is convalescing there as a guest of the Queen following surgery for a broken hip.
Mrs Pryor said her mother had been having lunch with the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh yesterday when he became ill and had to be taken to hospital, suffering with a bladder infection.
She added: “Apparently he was very shivery and had to leave very quickly, but I think he’s fine.
“Mummy and the Queen are best mates. She can talk to her about things that few people can talk to the Queen about - things that happened 60 or 70 years ago.”
As a child herself, Mrs Pryor and her siblings were frequent visitors to the Queen’s Balmoral estate in Scotland and she has happy memories of picnics there. She has been invited to numerous royal events through the years. Mrs Rhodes was a lady-in-waiting to the Queen Mother at the time of her death and Mrs Pryor attended her funeral.
She described the Queen and rest of the Royal Family as “incredibly kind.” At the time of the final illness and death of Mrs Pryor’s first husband, the sculptor Nicholas Deans, in 1991, Princess Margaret had rung daily to ask after him and had ensured he received the best possible care.
“I feel hugely privileged to have had a little insight into their lives and I can’t say enough how lovely they are,” Mrs Pryor added.