Stoke Gifford knitters pay tribute to Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

Residents at Stoke Gifford Retirement Village who created a knitted effigy of Queen Elizabeth II to mark the late monarch’s Platinum Jubilee have spoken of their sadness at her death.

Members of the ‘Knit and Natter’ group at the ExtraCare village, located just off Coldharbour Lane (near UWE), spent nearly 200 hours creating the bust ahead of the Jubilee celebrations.

Photo of a knitted effigy of a monarch.
A knitted effigy of the Queen, created by residents of Stoke Gifford Retirement Village.

Back in June, the knitters were invited to the BBC Radio Bristol studios to talk about their Jubilee tribute, and during the interview BBC presenter James Hanson asked the group how they would feel if The Queen were to see their knitted creation.

Just a few weeks ago, in mid-August, they received their answer after a reply was received from Balmoral Castle, expressing royal approval and enclosing a photograph of The Queen.

Photo of a letter sent on behalf of The Queen.
Letter sent on behalf of The Queen to a knitting group at Stoke Gifford Retirement Village.

Visiting the retirement village to surprise the ladies, the BBC’s James Hanson presented the letter (addressed to him) to the group live on air.

Photo of a group of ladies being interviewed by a radio presenter.
Members of the knitting group are interviewed live on BBC Radio Bristol on 25th August 2022.

Sent on behalf of The Queen from her lady-in-waiting, the letter (dated 11th August) says Her Majesty had been “interested to see the splendid photos” of their creation and was “touched by the care taken by all those involved”.

With the sad passing of The Queen just last week, the residents are all too aware of how precious their royal letter has now become.

Members of the group were interviewed once again on BBC Radio Bristol on Friday 9th September, the day after The Queen’s passing. They also appeared on the BBC Points West television programme later the same day.

Group member Pam commented:

“It was brilliant to get the letter at the time but it seems even more brilliant now. It was probably one of the last she wrote.”

Kitchen & Laundry Appliance Care.

Another member, Pat, added:

“She’s always been there we’ve always known her; she really was everybody’s granny.”

Natasheya Archer, who conceived the idea for the knitting project, commented:

“We were one of the last few people to receive a letter like that and a response from the Queen. It’s something the residents will cherish forever.”


The royal letter remains with the ‘knitted Queen’ at the village where it is now the focal point of an ongoing tribute to the late monarch.

Related link: James Hanson: Remembering Queen Elizabeth II* (BBC Radio Bristol)

* Available until 9th October 2022; piece starts 03:35:55 into the recording

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