AN Evesham animal sanctuary has enjoyed royal recognition this week thanks to a visit from a middle Eastern Princess.

Princess Iman bint Hussein of Jordan visited The Farm Animal Sanctuary in Middle Littleton, near Evesham, on Monday, February 27.

The Princess is the daughter of King Hussein and Queen Noor and the sister of the current Jordanian King Abdullah II.

She spent most of the day at the sanctuary meeting staff and getting to know the animals as part of a fact-finding mission for a sanctuary she wants to set up in her home country.

Jan Taylor, founder of the Evesham sanctuary, said: "I think she looked on the internet and decided that we looked as though we knew a bit.

"She just emailed me explaining what she was trying to do and asked could she visit.

"I think initially we wondered if it was a wind-up but we Googled her and found it was very genuine."

During the visit the Princess asked questions about how staff looked after the animals in preparation for buying land to found her sanctuary.

The Princess, who was previously at Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and studied veterinary medicine at university in the US, also invited Ms Taylor back to Jordan for a return visit and to advise her further on her project.

Ms Taylor said: "She came across as a very ordinary person.

"We were all thinking before she came, have we got to curtsey, address her as Your Royal Highness?

"None of us knew what to do.

"But she got out of the car, put her hand out and said, 'Hi, I'm Iman' and shook hands and that was it.

"Everyone was really relaxed with her.

"She was really nice."

Ms Taylor said the Princess told staff she wanted to influence the way people in Jordan treated animals because there were few welfare regulations in place for farm animals and she had seen sheep slaughtered publicly by the side of the road during festivals.

Ms Taylor said: "She's researched the Koran and the Koran forbids this type of slaughter.

"She's going to try and change the way people in her country look at how they treat animals by using the Koran."

She added: "I just had an email from her this morning.

"She was really happy about the visit and was going to stay in touch with us."

Ms Taylor set up the Farm Animal Sanctuary in Bromsgrove 24 years ago before moving to Evesham six years later.

The Sanctuary looks after sick and injured animals and campaigns for better welfare conditions for farm animals.