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Prince William visits 109-yr-old, gets fashion tip

LONDON (AP) – Catherine Masters had always wanted to meet a member of Britain's royal family. But when she finally got the chance at age 109, she couldn't resist offering it a little advice.

When Prince William made a surprise visit to Masters' nursing home near the upper crust city of Oxford on Friday, she gave him a fashion tip for his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II.

Like all British centenarians, Masters received a royal birthday card from the queen when she turned 100, 105 and every year thereafter. But Masters doesn't think each card should picture her royal highness in the same yellow dress.

In an interview with the Oxford Mail newspaper, Masters said she told William that the queen should be pictured in a new dress. "I think either a blue one or white one would be nice," she was quoted as saying.

She also reportedly gave the prince advice on how to make mashed potatoes.

It wasn't clear whether the prince would pass the fashion tip on to his 82-year-old grandmother, whose conservative dress sense generally commands the respect of her British subjects. Buckingham Palace acknowledged that the same picture on the queen's birthday card had been used for the past few years, but noted that the image did change occasionally.

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Ian Mead, who manages the Grange Nursing Home, in Faringdon near Oxford, said in an interview on Tuesday that a local lawmaker had arranged the surprise visit, knowing that Mead had always wanted to meet a royal.

"It was a very generous of the prince to find time out to see an old lady. ... It was really charming of him, and she just hasn't stopped talking about it," he said.

Mead said the entire nursing home would "wait with bated breath" for Masters' 110th birthday in December "to see if the queen will still be wearing the yellow dress."

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