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Queen’s cousin has right royal knees-up with East End seamen

PUBLISHED: 12:07 09 December 2009 | UPDATED: 15:21 05 October 2010

Princess and the seafarers... meeting Osei Asamoah

Princess and the seafarers... meeting Osei Asamoah

Carmen Valino

PRINCESS Alexandra came to London’s East End last night for a right royal knees-up. She arrived to open a new wing at the Queen Victoria Seamen’s Rest, then got treated to a concert with Christmas carols and calypso songs and the odd sea shanty or two........... Osei Asamoah

By Mike Brooke

PRINCESS Alexandra came to London’s East End last night (Tues) for a right royal knees-up.

She arrived to open a new wing at the Queen Victoria Seamen’s Rest in Poplar, then got treated to a concert with Christmas carols and calypso songs and the odd sea shanty or two from a choir of retired seafarers.

A troupe of tambourine dancers and a brass band from the Salvation Army also joined in.

The princess, who is the Queen’s cousin and 33rd in line to the throne, is pictured meeting the receptionist Osei Kwadwo Asamoah, a Ghanaian working at the mission.

She also toured the new John Cory wing with its self-contained rooms and met retired Royal Navy Leading seaman George Munsen.

“The princess took one look at my new electric kettle and joked that it was better than hers,” the 80-year-old recalled. “I told her I couldn’t make her a cuppa as I didn’t have any teabags. So we chatted about my time in the navy.”

Granddad George, who was born in Stepney at the end of the 1920s, will shortly be the first to move into the new wing.

The wing is named after Edwardian benefactor John Cory who made his fortune in shipping and mining and paid for two halls to be built in 1905, still in use today.

The Queen Victoria Seamen’s Rest managed to trace his descendants, his great, great grand-daughter Lucinda Rutherford and her daughter Abigail, 18, who met the princess.

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