RESIDENTS at a Hampshire retirement village enjoyed a royal visit in their new sensory garden.

HRH Princess Alexandra, her honourable Lady Ogilvy, helped plant an apple tree in the gardens at Bishopstoke Park.

The first cousin of Queen Elizabeth came to the Anchor care village to help the company celebrate its 50th anniversary.

Arriving with Lord Lieutenant of Hampshire Nigel Atkinson Esq., she was shown round the Bishopstoke development before making her way to the garden where she planted an apple tree prepared by resident and member of the home's gardening society Brian Love.

Howard Nankivell, Housing Operations Director at Anchor, led a tour of the grounds, starting with a visit to The Mount, the restored former Victorian hospital which now houses a state-of-the-art Wellness Centre, swimming pool and gym.

Princess Alexandra met senior wellness manager Brett Jenkins, recently announced as a finalist at the UK Active Awards for his outstanding work in changing the lives of older people.

She was also presented with a bouquet of flowers by the great granddaughter of two of Bishopstoke Park’s longest standing residents.

Jane Ashcroft CBE, Chief Executive of Anchor, said: “Princess Alexandra’s visit to Bishopstoke Park marks an important milestone for us as we celebrate 50 years of providing the very best in independent and assisted living for the UK’s silver economy. Both the staff and residents were delighted to host Her Royal Highness. We look forward to unveiling phase three of the development soon.”