Gladys Tapper


Rubbing shoulders with the Royals over seven decades

In June 2015, Princess Anne officially opened The Beacon in a special event attended by many people including Gladys Tapper, a PCH ‘Housing With Support’ resident. Most people are lucky to meet one member of the Royal Family in their lifetime, but Gladys has met three!

As a child in the 1930s, she met the then Duke and Duchess of York, later to be King George and Queen Elizabeth (The Queen Mother) when they visited North Prospect to open Swilly School (later named North Prospect Primary). Gladys had started school aged two-and-a-half, after following an older child there and sneaking in to take a nap.

She remembers the day well, and recalled: “I remember having to wear a nice dress to meet them. She was very nice to us and spoke to me, asking how I was and whether I liked it at the school. I told her I did! He was very quiet and didn’t speak very well, but she seemed ever so nice.”

Reflecting on the Royal visit, Gladys added: “Princess Anne said she was having a lovely day and was enjoying her time in Plymouth. People will have to curtsey to me soon!”

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