The Countess of Wessex joined fellow members of the Bagshot Women’s Institute for a catch-up at the Half Moon pub in Windlesham, Surrey, on Wednesday 8th July.
The local Women’s Institute, which The Countess has been a member of since 2007, had been keeping in touch via video calls, but have recently started meeting up in small groups for socially distanced catch-ups.
In the pub garden, the WI spoke to The Countess about how they have been supporting coronavirus response efforts during lockdown, including sewing PPE and scrub bags for the local hospital, Frimley Park, and baking for key workers, including the local fire service.
The Countess was due to attend the WI’s Annual General Meeting in June, which was cancelled due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Her Royal Highness instead contributed a letter to the WI’s magazine, WI Life, praising the “remarkable contribution” of the Women’s Institute and her immense pride at how the organisation had stepped up to help coronavirus response efforts.
During her visit to the Half Moon on Wednesday, The Countess also met the pub’s owners, the Stuart family, as well as kitchen and bar staff, to hear how the business has been affected by COVID-19 and lockdown.
The pub landlord spoke to Her Royal Highness about the challenges they had encountered, and how the business has adapted to new guidelines in order to welcome patrons again. Some of the new measures in place include a Contact and Trace system at the entrance and a new table layout.
The pub had reopened the weekend before The Countess’s visit, on Saturday 4th July.