HRH The Countess of Wessex

HRH The Countess of Wessex has become the first member of the royal family to visit the Daphne du Maurier Festival in Fowey.

Looking cool and elegant in a white dress and fitted black jacket, the Countess was introduced to members of the festival committee, including its Chair, John Berryman, who is also Mayor of Fowey. The Festival Director, Jonathan Aberdeen, took her on a tour of the festival village where she bought some books in Waterstone’s before going into the festival marquee and watching Andy Secombe, son of Sir Harry Secombe, talk about his book Growing Up With The Goons.

“Andy proved a hugely entertaining raconteur who had his audience in fits of laughter with some of his tales of childhoods spent growing up with the likes of Spike Milligan, Michael Bentine, Peter Sellers and his own dad Sir Harry as fathers,” said Jonathan. “The Countess clearly enjoyed his performance as much as everyone else.”

After the entertainment, Her Royal Highness signed the festival’s visitors’ book before departing for further engagements.

The Daphne du Maurier Festival was launched in 1997 and has been staged in the famous novelist’s adopted home town of Fowey ever since. Hundreds of famous people have taken part including, this year, Sir Tim Rice, Profess Robert Winston, Ann Widdecombe, Alastair Campbell and Shakin Stevens.

Ends                                                                                                                      19 May 2011

Photos (by Bernie Pettersen)

018: The Countess is introduced to Mayor of Fowey, John Berryman, by Lady Mary Holborow

036: Festival Director Jonathan Aberdeen takes the Countess on a tour of the festival village

040: HRH is introduced to members of the festival committee

068: HRH chats to Lynn Goold, one of the festival’s founders

070: HRH with members of the festival committee and Kits Browning (left), Daphne du Maurier’s son

083: HRH with Lady Mary Holborow, Sarah Lillicrap and Ian Lillicrap

098: Andy Secombe and Jonathan Aberdeen share a joke with the Countess

129: Andy Secombe and The Countess

146: HRH shows an interest in The Little Book Of The Pasty

162: HRH meets Gaye Lush and Andrew Forster in Waterstone’s

180: Andy Secombe on stage talking about the Goonchildren

209: The Countess signs the visitors’ book

221: HRH meets Professor Robert Winston