Dear Your Majesty – will you come and officially open our new school building?
That was the invitation which went out to Buckingham Palace from nine-year-old Eisa Janjua when he decided the plush new surroundings enjoyed by he and his fellow pupils at Heyhouses Endowed CE Primary School in St Annes were fit for The Queen.
The Queen wishes me to write and thank you for your lovely letter, in which you invite Her Majesty to attend the opening of your new school on Friday, March 18
A new £4.25m building, which has been in use at Heyhouses since the start of the school year, comprises 15 classrooms, a main hall, small hall and kitchen – and after decades of the junior and infant departments operating on split sites, allows for the full school roll of almost 600 to be accommodated on a single site.
It will be officially opened next month – and Eisa sent off his invitation in the hope that Her Majesty herself would perform the ceremony.
Unfortunately, The Queen’s busy schedule means she won’t be able to make it - but Eisa was delighted to receive a reply to that effect on Sandringham House headed notepaper from lady-in-waiting Annabel Whitehead and brought smiles and admiration from fellow pupils - including elder brother Yusuf - and staff.
“All credit to Eisa for writing to The Queen in the hope that she would perform the opening ceremony,” said headteacher Elizabeth Hodgson.
“It is an invitation we have extended ourselves without success and it would have been wonderful if Her Majesty could have opened the building. The letter in reply is one for him to treasure.”
The opening ceremony on Friday, March 18 will be performed by The Very Rev Dr John Hall, Dean of Westminster Abbey, who is a former Diocesan director of education in Blackburn and was also a Canon Residentiary of Blackburn Cathedral.
The day will comprise a service of thanksgiving at St Annes Parish Church followed by a procession back to the new school building in Clarendon Road North.”
The royal reply to Eisa read:
“The Queen wishes me to write and thank you for your lovely letter, in which you invite Her Majesty to attend the opening of your new school on Friday, March 18.
“I am sorry to have to tell you that, because of The Queen’s very busy programme, it will not be possible to fit in a visit to your school at this time. Her Majesty greatly appreciated your kind thought for her, however, and was pleased to hear how much you enjoy going to Heyhouses Church of England primary School.
“I am to end you and all concerned The Queen’s good wishes for a most successful event on March 18 and thank you again for writing as you did.”