THE Duchess of Norfolk welcomed families from across the Arun district to a picnic in Arundel Castle’s Collector Earl’s Garden.
About 30 families enjoyed their afternoon in the sunshine in the garden’s delightful surroundings, thanks to the family support charity Home-Start Arun.
As well as a delicious afternoon tea, they were treated to entertainment including a magician, musical duo and DJ/compere, with football coaching for older children and Shetland ponies to stroke, and a bouncy castle.
The Duchess also led everyone on a walk through the gardens, including a visit to Philip’s Zoo, set up by her youngest son Philip, who was at the picnic, together with her daughter Izzy.
Bridget Richardson, senior organiser for Home-Start Arun, said the picnic had been a great success. “Quite a few of the parents were nervous before going to the picnic, but without exception, everyone said how easy the Duchess was to talk to and how she took an interest in everyone.
“She spoke to all the families and she and Izzy were holding babies and were very relaxed just chatting to them.
“The children loved going round Philip’s Zoo, and they were all entranced by the meerkats there.
“The Duchess is our patron and takes an interest in what we are doing and is always ready to support us. We are very grateful to her for hosting the picnic, and we had with glorious weather.
“We are having a fundraising fashion show which the castle is also hosting for us, in November.”