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Princess Anne Commemorates 100 Years Of Women's Royal Naval Service Association After Coronavirus Delay

It comes after the event was delayed a year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Princess Anne has attended an event marking 100 years of the Women's Royal Naval Service Association (WRENS).

It comes after the event, held at the National Arboretum, Staffordshire, had been postponed last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Princess Anne became President of the WRENS association in 1973 and remains Chief Commandant for women in the Royal Navy.

"This association was of course formed to encourage comradeship amongst all who have served in the women's Royal Naval service during the First World War, establishing that framework of mutual support for those returning to civilian life," Princess Anne said at the ceremony.

"That continues today."

The WRENS were formed in 1917, with women serving in the Armed Forces as cooks, clerks, wireless telegraphists, radar plotters and in many other key roles.

Princess Anne, who was made President of the WRENS in 1973, said the association still provides "mutual support for those returning to civilian life" to this day.

After being disbanded in 1919, the WRENS were stood up again for the Second World War in 1939.

The WRENS Association has been an important support for veterans, since it was established 101 years ago.

Larraine Cox, a former WREN, told Forces News, it is a "really good… support network for everybody".

“It’s almost like all those years have never gone by, you met up like old pals,” she said.

Barbara McGregor, a former WREN and longest serving woman in the UK Armed Forces, told Forces News she joked “it was like a finishing school for young ladies”.

“It was only 4 weeks, but they taught us how to parade, look after our uniform, different drills, all about the Royal Navy, the different things that you could say, routines, all that type of thing,” she said.

A new commemorative stone, marking 100 years of the WRENS association, was also added as a permanent feature to the WRENS garden at the National Memorial Arboretum.