Ella's ship-shape model is a hit with the Queen

Daily Echo: Ella Bailiff, centre, with fellow pupils from Little Saints Community Preschool Ella Bailiff, centre, with fellow pupils from Little Saints Community Preschool

SHE has named magnificent cruise liners like the QE2 and the Queen Mary 2.

But the Queen was just as impressed by a cardboard ship made for her by a Romsey preschooler.

Four-year-old Ella Bailiff made the vessel out of cardboard boxes at Little Saints Community Preschool as a present for Her Majesty, and insisted her mum Becky send it to Buckingham Palace.

She was delighted to receive a reply from the Queen’s lady-in-waiting, Lady Susan Hussey, conveying the monarch’s gratitude for the gift. Mrs Bailiff, 31, of North Baddesley, said: “She made this ship out of a mince pie box and an egg carton and said it was the Queen’s ship, because she loves the Queen.

“She told me I had to send it to The Queen, so I told her we could post it and we looked up the address and sent it off.

“I didn’t think any more of it but then a few weeks later we got this letter through the post with a crest on the back and Ella just knew it was about the Queen. We opened it and it was from her lady-in-waiting thanking Ella.

“She was overjoyed and kept saying ‘The Queen’s coming!’ I nearly cried.”

In the letter, Lady Hussey said: “The Queen wishes me to thank you for your letter with which you sent a splendid ship you made at your pre-school. Her Majesty was very touched that you made this gift especially for her and greatly appreciated your kind words.”

Belinda Vincent, deputy supervisor at the preschool, said: “We are really pleased for Ella. We quite often have ‘junk modelling’ sessions where children use old boxes and shiny paper to make things, and it’s a chance for the children to put together something they like.

“Ella said she had made this boat for the Queen and made her mum send it off. I think it cost a good £7 to post so I'm sure she’s happy with the reply.”

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