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Royal encounter for Cumbrian WellChild award winner

Nellie-Mai won the award for the most inspirational young person Credit: PA

The award ceremony celebrates the courage of children coping with serious illnesses or complex conditions and honour the dedication of professionals who go the extra mile to help sick children and their families.

Nine year old Nellie-Mai from Warcop near Appleby, was awarded the most inspirational young person in the 7-10 age category after being born with a heart condition that meant she needed a heart transplant at just 11 months old.

Since then Nellie-Mai has battled cancer, suffered several strokes and has ongoing epilepsy.

She continues to amaze doctors, family and friends by beating all the odds against her.

Sarah Lofthouse is a Teaching Assistant at Warcop C of E Primary School.

Nellie-Mai has defied the odds time and again and fought every step of the way.

She is such a loving, caring child who is determined to live life to the full in spite of the difficulties she continues to face.

Nellie-Mai is truly special and makes a deep impression on everyone who meets her.”

– Sarah Lofthouse, Warcop C of E Primary School

Nellie-Mai was seriously ill in hospital and not expected to survive when foster carers Jeff and Sarah Evans agreed to care for her during her final weeks.

Nellie-Mai quickly responded to the family’s love and attention and her condition began to improve.

She has won a special place in the heart of everyone in her new family and all those she meets through her cheeky sense of humour, caring attitude and incredible lust for life.

Along with all the night's award winners, Nellie-Mai met HRH Prince Harry who is Patron of the WellChild charity.

He spoke to Nellie-Mai and her adoptive father Jeff before playing balloon tennis with the award winner.

HRH Prince Harry plays balloon tennis with Nellie-Mai Credit: PA

Speaking at last year's event, Prince Harry said:

All of us together can make a real, real difference for children and young people just like those we have seen on the stage this evening.

It is such a privilege to be Patron of this charity, a charity that has achieved so much and yet is working harder than ever to make life better for more and more young people.”

– HRH Prince Harry


Princess Anne to open Annandale Distillery

Princess Anne Credit: PA
The Annandale Distillery. Credit: ITV Border

Princess Anne will officially open the Annandale Distillery and Visitor Centre this morning.

It's been closed for around 90 years, but is now producing single malt scotch whisky once again.

Princess Anne will then head to the International Sheepdog Trials near Moffat in the afternoon.

Stunning video of Royal Train passing through Borders countryside

Watch as the Royal Train, carrying the Queen and Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, passes through the Scottish Borders.

It was an historic day for the Borders, as rail services officially returned to the region.


Queen arrives at Tweedbank Station

The Queen arrives at the station. Credit: ITV Border

Queen Elizabeth has arrived at Tweedbank Station.

She will unveil a plaque to officially open the new Borders Railway, alongside Nicola Sturgeon, the First Minister of Scotland.

She is expected to make a speech after the opening.

Crowds welcome the Royal Train's arrival. Credit: ITV Border

Crowds were out in force to welcome her.

Memories of the Queen: 'not many people have sat in the Royal Limo'

Robin Bell, from Penrith, is a retired police inspector for Cumbria Constabulary.

In 1991 he was tasked with protecting the Queen on her visit to Penrith... and he ended up helping a young child, too.

The Queen's visit to Cumbria in 1991. Credit: ITV Border

All officers had a briefing by the Superintendent at the Police Station .and advised on the protocols of addressing embers of the Royal Family and that the Queen would take all the flowers from the children only in the front row.

I was assigned the right hand side of the forecourt of Mansion House as I was aware of some persons likely to be in the crowd who were well known anti-royalists and had photos of them..

The public were held behind steel crowd control barriers and the area was sealed off one hour before the Royal party arrived. I saw the Queen and the Duke walking through the gates of Mansion House then faced the crowd which included young children in the first line behind the barriers. I then herd the tap tap of high heeled shoes coming up behind me and then the Queen appeared at my side. She said “aren’t these flowers lovely officer” I responded “Yes your majesty”.

The party moved along and after a couple of minutes out of the corner of my eye to my left I saw a lot of sudden movements of the entourage and the Queen walked quickly towards me.

She said ”Officer there is a small child trapped behind the barriers, do something” I replied “Yes Marm” and saw a very small child with face against the barriers as the crowd surged forward.

I lifted out the child to the other side of the barrier and told it to stay there. When the Queen orders you to do something one must obey."

– Robin Bell

On a previous royal visit, in 1980, Robin cleaned the Royal car, and ended driving it back to where the Queen was staying:

Not many people can say I have sat in the Royal Limo."

– Robin Bell
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