Pauline, 99, plants tree for Queen - 71 years after they shared afternoon tea

Tree planting ceremony by Pauline Harris aged 99 with Deputy Mayor John Cookat St Marys Church Ipswi

Tree planting ceremony by Pauline Harris aged 99 with Deputy Mayor John Cook at St Marys Church Ipswich in honour of the Queens Jubilee - Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND

An Ipswich woman who had afternoon tea with the Queen before her historic reign began has planted a tree to mark the platinum jubilee. 

It was 1951 when Pauline Harris met the monach, who was at the time Princess Elizabeth, in Malta when they were in their 20s.

Pauline's husband Arthur, was a chief petty officer for the Royal Navy, and worked with the late Prince Philip when he was captain.

Queen Elizabeth (second from left) with Pauline Harris (furthest right) in Malta

Queen Elizabeth (second from left) with Pauline Harris (furthest right) in Malta - Credit: FAMILY

To celebrate the Queen's Platinum Jubilee, a tree was planted outside St Mary at Stoke Church by the 99-year-old.

Recalling her time seeing the Queen, Pauline said: "I can remember going out there to Malta when I was a bit younger, and she invited everyone to her villa for afternoon tea, we had a nice tea and then she took us for a little walk.

A scanned copy of the invitation sent to Pauline from the Queen, Princess at the time

A scanned copy of the invitation sent to Pauline from the Queen, Princess at the time - Credit: FAMILY

"She has been a wonderful Queen. She has been an example to everyone. She's very charming and doesn't really put a foot wrong.

"I did also meet Prince Philip, he was a very nice man, very charming. He was a good captain and we were very lucky to have them both.

Tree planting ceremony by Pauline Harris aged 99 at St Marys Church Ipswich in honour of the Queens

Tree planting ceremony by Pauline Harris aged 99 at St Marys Church Ipswich in honour of the Queens Jubilee - Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND

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"My husband worked with Prince Philip and he loved it. He thought very highly of his crew and we enjoyed our time being out there."

Also in attendance, was the deputy mayor of Ipswich, John Cook.

He said: "Thank you for the invitation to be here today with a very important person, Pauline.

Father John Thackray planting the tree with help from Pauline Harris at St Mary's Church Ipswich PI

Father John Thackray planting the tree with help from Pauline Harris at St Mary's Church Ipswich - Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND

"When I arrived, I saw a little girl and said to her, that she will be around long enough to see this tree grow into a mature tree, and they will remember being here at this moment for this planting.

"This is one of many trees around the UK being planted to mark the Queen's jubilee, and I can guarantee none of us are going to witness another platinum jubilee.

Queen Elizabeth (left) with Pauline Harris (Right)

Queen Elizabeth (left) with Pauline Harris (Right) - Credit: FAMILY

"It is the first one that has ever happened and it may well be the last that ever happens."

The idea of planting a tree was that of PCC member, Pam Geoghegan, who also suggested inviting Pauline to plant the tree, and set the day up.

Tree planting ceremony by Pauline Harris aged 99 at St Marys Church Ipswich in honour of the Queens

Tree planting ceremony by Pauline Harris aged 99 at St Marys Church Ipswich in honour of the Queens Jubilee - Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND