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Garden centre owner hopes royal visit will encourage others back

PUBLISHED: 05:31 23 June 2020 | UPDATED: 08:23 23 June 2020

The Duchess of Cambridge talks to Martin and Jennie Turner, owners of the Fakenham Garden Centre in Norfolk, during her first public engagement since lockdown. Picture: PA Wire/PA Images/Aaron Chown

The Duchess of Cambridge talks to Martin and Jennie Turner, owners of the Fakenham Garden Centre in Norfolk, during her first public engagement since lockdown. Picture: PA Wire/PA Images/Aaron Chown

PA Wire/PA Images

The owner of a north Norfolk garden centre is hoping their royal visit will give people the confidence to return to the store.

Fakenham Cricket Club Chairman Martin Turner. Picture: Martin TurnerFakenham Cricket Club Chairman Martin Turner. Picture: Martin Turner

Martin Turner and his wife Jennie had the most unexpected visitor on June 15, when the secretary for the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, visited the Fakenham garden centre and asked if they would like to host her first piece of royal business since the lockdown.

The pair jumped at the chance to host the royal, but were told to keep it to themselves until June 19, when they could tell staff that morning about who was visiting.

Mr Turner said the visit was to encourage people to get back to the shops and let them know that the country was back in business.

The owner hopes this will encourage others to come back to the shop as lockdown measures ease.

The Duchess of Cambridge talks to Martin and Jennie Turner, owners of the Fakenham Garden Centre in Norfolk, during her first public engagement since lockdown. Picture: PA Wire/PA Images/Aaron ChownThe Duchess of Cambridge talks to Martin and Jennie Turner, owners of the Fakenham Garden Centre in Norfolk, during her first public engagement since lockdown. Picture: PA Wire/PA Images/Aaron Chown

“We know what is happening at the moment and people might be scared to come out after the coronavirus,” he said.

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“But, hopefully, her presence here will give people the confidence to come out and shop.

“We are really hoping that it will show people that we are a good business and everyone is welcome to the centre.”

Mr Turner said that the Duchess of Cambridge was “very supportive” when she spoke to them about what it was like for them during the lockdown, how they have coped and managed their business.

Kate then toured the garden centre and spoke with both customers and staff and bought some flowers.

“When she complimented us on the flowers It was great,” Mr Turner said.

“Especially as someone who is so involved with gardens, like her displays at the Chelsea Flower Show, so to get a compliment from her was very nice.”

The visit has made them the talk of the town as customers and Mr Turner also said that one staff member had a call from family over in Australia who had seen about the visit.


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