THE Princess Royal said she hopes Hereford's Livestock Market will 'serve the county for years to come' when she officially opened the site today.

Princess Anne, the only daughter of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, visited the market on Roman Road this morning, which opened in 2011 when it moved from its previous location in the city centre.

The Princess Royal also visited the headquarters of West Mercia Women’s Aid (WMWA) to learn about their work and that of West Mercia Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre (WMRSASC).

Jan Frances, chief executive of WMWA, said: “We were delighted to welcome HRH The Princess Royal. Her visit offered us an excellent platform to showcase our valuable work with survivors of domestic violence and abuse to an individual who so tirelessly supports charitable ventures.

"We were also pleased that she met some of our service users, who continue to inspire us with their courage and determination every day. We’d like to thank her very much for visiting us and supporting our work.”

Jocelyn Anderson, chief officer of WMRSASC, said the visit 'recognised the exceptional work' of the organisations in supporting survivors of rape, sexual abuse and sexual violence

“It takes tremendous courage for survivors to come forward and talk about their experiences and our dedicated team are able to offer support towards healing and recovery,” she added.

The Princess Royal also visited the Town Hall to meet Herefordshire Carers Support and Family Drug Support.

During her visit the Princess met staff and Janet Fellows, chair of Herefordshire Carers Support Trustee Board said the visit was 'a tremendous boost'.

Susan Hall, founder and family drug support co-ordinator, said: “The more that can be done to raise awareness and understanding of the suffering of families dealing with a family member’s drug or alcohol misuse can only be of great benefit.

“The interest and support shown by the Princess Royal has been a boost to us all.”

For more on this story, including pictures of the visit, see tomorrow's Hereford Times.