A wildlife charity that will attend the Queen’s funeral said it was a “strong part” of what she believed in and cared for.
The Norfolk Wildlife Trust (NWT) said it was proud to have had the Queen as its royal patron.
The charity was founded the same year Queen Elizabeth II was born in 1926 and she became its patron in 1952.
Chief Executive Eliot Lyne said the charity was “honoured” to be invited to Monday’s state funeral in London.
He said the charity has a “special and longstanding relationship” with the late monarch and feels “fortunate” to be among the charities for which she has been a patron.
Mr Lyne said he would be attending the funeral on behalf of the charity after receiving a call from Buckingham Palace.
The NWT looks after more than 50 nature reserves and other protected areas, some of which are close to the Royal Family’s Sandringham Estate in West Norfolk.
He said it was a “great honor and incredibly surprising” to be invited to Westminster Abbey.
“All the people there represent aspects of their lives, the international, the national, the local and the community,” he said.
“We’re a relatively small community organization here in Norfolk, but a strong part of what they believed in and cared about.”
The Queen became the charity’s patron on 23 June 1952 – not long after she joined in February.
NWT said Britain’s longest-reigning monarch and his family have supported them with annual donations and royal appearances, including attending the opening of the wildlife center at Ranworth in The Broads in 1976.
The 96-year-old charity, formerly known as the Norfolk Naturalist Trust, said the Queen has been a “wonderful ambassador for conservation and charity work” during her 70 years of service.
“She leaves a lasting legacy around the world, especially here in Norfolk, the site of her special retreat at Sandringham,” it said.
It added that all of its locations are open on Mondays “when people want to come and be in nature, spend some time in nature, seek comfort in nature and have a quiet moment.”
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