Melton’s Learning Hub rolled out the red carpet as Princess Anne met some of the students and took a tour of the facility today.
Her visit was courtesy of a recommendation by the Lord Lieutenant of Leicestershire, Jennifer, Lady Gretton.
The Melton Learning Hub is an alternative learning facility that offers young people - who are disengaged from learning - a wide variety of exciting and practical courses.
Dignitaries including Melton’s Mayor John Wyatt and his wife, Nina, councillor Pam Posnett and Deputy Lieutenant David Wyrko also attended to witness some of the students’ work.
Excited youngsters who are studying animal care were the first to meet the Princess Royal as she was introduced to some of the centre’s animals and given a demonstration on how they are looked after.
Nathan Kendrick (16) said: “The princess was so easy to talk to and it was really nice to be able to meet someone from the royal family.”
Aivrais Norkus (16) said: “I’d read about the royal family before she visited. I felt like collapsing and was very nervous before she came. She spoke to us about dogs and about her own animals.”
She was then escorted inside to the kitchens where she was told how students learn practical skills to cook and bake cakes.
Gareth Phillips (16), Kai de-Ville (12) and Dan Clare (16) collectively said: “She told us about some of her favourite cakes and asked us what ours were.”
Princess Anne then headed for the beauty and hair room where she spoke to female students about their ambitions and aspirations for getting into the trade.
Lead tutor Lucie Larke said: “This kind of opportunity only comes round once in a lifetime so the girls were very anxious to make a good impression.
“After meeting her and being put at ease we spoke to her about some of the ingredients we use in our products and the different treatments we do.
“Her visit is something that the girls can eventually tell their grandchildren about.”
The Princess Royal proceeded to talk to students who study sport and leisure, construction, gardening and bricklaying before leaving by police escort.
Hub manager David Cowell said: “It’s nice to be recognised by royalty for the work we’ve put in. It meant a lot that she took interest in what we do and she wanted to talk to the students to get their input and so she could see their potential.
“She was able to relate to everything we did and always offered her own opinion.
“The kids were building up to her visit for weeks and were planning what they were going to say to her.
“They’d been looking forward to showing her round and were outstanding.
“Her visit was something they will remember and be able to tell their parents.”