Rosemary Lancaster, who has dedicated her life to helping others, has described receiving her MBE from Prince William as a “memory I’ll treasure for the rest of my life”.
Rosemary, who was awarded the prestigious gong in the New Year’s Honours List, travelled down to Buckingham Palace the day after the nation had celebrated Her Majesty The Queen’s 90th birthday for her special royal appointment in the capital.
“To receive an MBE from a future king of England was such an incredible honour, one of the proudest moments of my life,” said Rosemary.
“Prince William was very gracious, such a nice man, and he was very interested in what we were doing with the Grand Theatre and the Solomon Project, our charity in Africa.
“When I mentioned that we had been out to an orphanage in Lesoto he said that his brother Harry would be happy to hear that.
“Going to Buckingham Palace and meeting a prince is something you dream about as a young girl and this is a memory that I’ll keep with me forever.” It proved a celebratory day for all sorts of reasons for the Lancaster family as Rosemary explained: “As well as going to Buckingham Palace, my great nephew Isiah was born in America on the same day, and my first grandson, Joshua, celebrated his 18th birthday, so April 22nd will always be a special day for me now.
“These sort of things don’t happen by chance and don’t they say blessings come in handfuls.”
Rosemary received her distinguished award in recognition for her charitable work through the Lancaster Foundation, the foundation having gifted millions of pounds to help many worthwhile charities and disadvantaged and suffering people across the world. In 2011, her husband John, one of Clitheroe’s greatest benefactors, also landed the MBE after he founded and built the first village for AIDS orphans in South Africa.
The huge success of Ribble Valley company Ultraframe, the conservatory business started by Mr Lancaster, has enabled the Lancaster family to donate a large percentage of their wealth to charity.
The Solomon Project, supported by the Grand in Clitheroe and local schools, provides daily meals for thousands of chronically hungry children in Africa. Rosemary said: “It has always been a desire in our hearts to help those less fortunate, this was our prayer from day one of Ultraframe’s incredible journey and now seeing the fruits of our labours makes it feel very special indeed.”
It costs just £17 to feed a child in school for a whole year in Eldoret. For further information on how you can donate contact 01200 421599 or www.thesolomonproject.com