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Displays Will Commemorate The Life and Work of HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh

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The Coronation Robe and Coronet worn by HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh during Her Majesty The Queen’s Coronation on 2 June 1953. Credit: Royal Collection Trust/All Rights Reserved
The Coronation Robe and Coronet worn by HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh during Her Majesty The Queen’s Coronation on 2 June 1953. Credit: Royal Collection Trust/All Rights Reserved

Displays Will Commemorate The Life and Work of HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh

Special displays at Windsor Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse this summer will commemorate the remarkable life and legacy of His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Britain’s longest-serving consort. 

Opening at Windsor Castle on 24 June and at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh on 23 July, the two separate but closely linked displays will chart significant events and achievements in The Duke of Edinburgh’s life through a total of more than 150 objects. 

Themes explored in Prince Philip: A Celebration will include The Prince’s early life and naval career, his role as consort and his support for the sovereign at home and abroad. The displays will also focus on His Royal Highness’s wide-ranging patronages and associations, including sport, science and industry, conservation and the environment, art and collecting, and encouraging younger generations. 

A highlight of the display at Windsor Castle will be a section devoted to Prince Philip’s role in The Queen’s Coronation of 1953. His Royal Highness chaired the Coronation Committee, one of two committees convened to plan the event, and played a key role in the decision to broadcast parts of the service live on television. The Coronation Robe and Coronet worn by Prince Philip during the service will be on display, alongside his Chair of Estate which is usually located in the Throne Room at Buckingham Palace. 

Many of the objects in the Windsor display have been selected to highlight Prince Philip’s close associations with the Castle and the local community. His Royal Highness’s mother, Princess Alice of Battenberg, was born at Windsor Castle in 1885, and the Journal in which her great-grandmother Queen Victoria recorded the birth and described the new-born as ‘very pretty’ will be on display. Prince Philip’s roles as Ranger of Windsor Great Park, Knight of the Most Noble Order of the Garter and Chair of the Restoration Committee following the Windsor Castle fire of 1992 will also be explored. Items on display will include George A Weymouth’s portrait of The Prince standing in the shell of St George’s Hall after the fire, holding a roll of floorplans. 

Gifts presented to Prince Philip during State Visits, overseas tours and official engagements at home and abroad will form part of the displays at both Windsor Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse. Examples at Windsor Castle will include a First Nations feather headdress presented to The Prince during a Commonwealth visit to Canada in 1973 and a wine cooler in the shape of a giant grasshopper presented by President Pompidou of France in 1972. 

The Duke of Edinburgh was installed as a Knight of the Garter in St George’s Chapel in 1948 and marked many public and private occasions there. His funeral took place in St George’s Chapel on 17 April 2021. A display of archival material and historic photographs in the Chapel’s south quireaisle will celebrate his faith and service to society, his support of the Chapel and his role in the foundation and development of St George’s House consultation centre. 

Exploring similar themes to the Windsor display, the display at the Palace of Holyroodhouse will include a section charting Prince Philip’s early life and naval career. In The Prince’s Midshipman’s log book from 1940–1, he describes his role operating the ship’s searchlight during the Battle of Cape Matapan while stationed on the HMS Valiant off the coast of Greece. Another section will bring together items from his wedding to HRH The Princess Elizabeth in 1947, including the wedding invitation, order of service and wedding breakfast menu. On the occasion of their wedding, Prince Philip was granted the royal dukedom of Edinburgh and the display will look particularly at his connections to Scotland and its capital city. 

HMY Britannia, also known as the Royal Yacht Britannia, was built in the Clydebank shipyard in Scotland and launched by The Queen in 1953. The Duke of Edinburgh took a keen interest and active role in both the technical aspects of Britannia, drawing on his own practical naval experience, and the interior design of the Royal Apartments. The display in Edinburgh will include two of the architect Sir Hugh Casson’s original design sketches for the yacht’s sun lounge and dining room, as well as a silver model of Britannia presented to The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh by Lloyd’s Register of Shipping in 1972. 

Prince Philip was a keen collector of contemporary Scottish art, and between 1958 and 1996 he acquired a large number of works from the annual exhibitions of the Royal Scottish Academy. Paintings from this collection, including works by Robin Philipson and James Orr, will be on display at the Palace, with many reflecting His Royal Highness’s interests in Scottish landscapes and wildlife.

BOOK TICKETS – Prince Philip: A Celebration is part of a visit to Windsor Castle from 24 June until 20 September 2021, and part of a visit to the Palace of Holyroodhouse from 23 July until 31 October 2021.

The Prince of Wales Undertakes Engagements in Oxford

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The Prince of Wales meets Mason during a visit to Bletchingdon Parochial Church of England School on the Bletchingdon Estate Development in Oxfordshire, 2019.

THE PRINCE OF WALES WILL UNDERTAKE ENGAGEMENTS IN OXFORD 

TUESDAY 8TH JUNE 2021 

Engagement 1

The Prince of Wales will visit Somerville College as it celebrates its 140th anniversary and marks 100 years of Oxford degrees for women. His Royal Highness will also meet representatives from the Oxford India Centre for Sustainable Development and learn about the Somerville Sustainability Plan.  

The Prince of Wales will be greeted on arrival by Somerville’s Principal, Baroness Janet Royall. Baroness Royall will then accompany His Royal Highness through the college gardens to the oldest part of the college, to view an exhibition celebrating the centenary of women being awarded Oxford degrees. The Prince will then be introduced to the Directors and scholars of the Oxford India Centre for Sustainable Development (OICSD) to discuss their work advancing researching on the complex challenges and opportunities posed by sustainable development in the India subcontinent. Moving into the College’s gardens, His Royal Highness will meet with students and staff involved in Somerville’s Sustainability Working Group before planting a tree to commemorate the visit. 

Somerville College 

Named in honour of the Scottish mathematician and scientist Mary Somerville, Somerville College was created for women at a time when universities refused their entry. It was also the first Oxford College to be founded as nondenominational and it remains religiously non-aligned to this day. Following dedicated work lasting many years by Principal Emily Penrose (1848-1942) and others, the University of Oxford finally granted women the right to matriculation and to all degrees in 1920. Notable alumnae include: Vera Brittain, Dorothy Sayers, Dorothy Hodgkin (the first and so far only British woman to receive a Nobel prize for science), Indira Gandhi, Shirley Williams and Margaret Thatcher. In 1994, the college admitted men as well as women and today its student population stands at 435 undergraduates and 243 postgraduate students from all over the world. Sustainability is an issue close to the heart of the entire Somerville community. Key initiatives include the adoption of locally sourced or sustainably produced food (including more plant-based options) and, as of March 2021, a full divestment from fossil fuel. Under the guidance of its Sustainability Working Group, the college is implementing a subsidised scheme to encourage academics and students to reduce their carbon footprints by avoiding air travel. 

The Oxford India Centre for Sustainable Development (OICSD) 

OICSD is a ground-breaking Oxford-India partnership created to advance knowledge on the complex challenges and opportunities associated with sustainable development in India. Empowering the next generation of Indian policy-makers and leaders is vital because, at present, 40- 50% of Indian post-graduate applicants who qualify for Oxford cannot take up their places. Against this background, the OICSD has already established a network of 18 alumni scholars, all of whom have returned to India, with a further 16 current scholars pursuing research across issues ranging from sanitation and hygiene to electric mobility in cities. In addition, the OICSD also has core research commitments under the directorship of Professor Radhika Khosla. These include reforestation as a climate mitigation strategy, mapping the impact of cooling technologies on the environment, developing novel healthcare technologies for use in home and community settings and examining the pressure on India’s cities to balance growing energy needs with protecting the environment. 

In 2007 The Prince of Wales founded the British Asian Trust, bringing together the diaspora community in the UK to work towards a South Asia that is prospering and fair for all. Its work supports large-scale, sustainable solutions that enable poor and marginalised people to achieve their full potential and has had a positive impact on the lives of almost five million people in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Last month, The British Asian Trust launched ‘Oxygen For India’, an emergency appeal in response to the Covid-19 crisis in India, which has now raised over £4million. 

Engagement 2

The Prince of Wales, Patron, Oxford Botanic Garden, will make a visit to mark the Garden’s 400th Anniversary. His Royal Highness will undertake a tour highlighting the Garden’s work in research, conservation, education and inspiration for a new generation of botanists. 

The Prince will be greeted on arrival at the Garden by Professor Louise Richardson, Vice Chancellor of Oxford University. Professor Simon Hiscock, Director of the Botanic Garden and Arboretum and Mr Mark Brent, Botanic Garden Curator and Head of Horticulture will then accompany His Royal Highness on a tour, taking in Bobart’s Yew, the Garden’s oldest tree which was planted in 1645, and the newly reconfigured Rock Garden which celebrates Professor John Sibthorp’s 18th century botanical expeditions to the Eastern Mediterranean. Moving into the Literary Garden, The Prince will be invited to plant a tree grown from seed of the original black pine that grew in the Garden from the 1830s-2014 and was much loved by writer JRR Tolkien. His Royal Highness will next visit the conservatory to view plant specimens relevant to the Garden’s research, teaching and conservation. Before departing, The Prince will be gifted with a bottle of Oxford Physic Gin which is made using botanicals from the Garden. 

Oxford Botanic Garden 

Oxford Botanic Garden is the UK’s oldest botanic garden, celebrating 400 years this year. It was founded as a physic garden (Oxford Physicke Garden) in 1621 by Henry Danvers, first Earl of Danby, for the cultivation of medicinal plants for the University of Oxford’s medical students. Its name was changed to the Botanic Garden in 1834 to reflect its changing use to a place of botanical research. The Garden therefore occupies a unique place in history and academic location as the birthplace of botanical science in the UK. 

Today Oxford Botanic Garden remains a centre for plant science research and teaching. Its mission is ‘to share the scientific wonder and importance of plants with the world’. Together with its sister site, the Harcourt Arboretum, it holds a collection of over 5,000 different types of plant. Some are extremely rare in the wild and some exist nowhere else in the world, making the collections internationally important for plant conservation. 

The Prince of Wales has been Patron of the Oxford Botanic Garden since 1991. 

Engagement 3

The Prince of Wales will visit the MINI plant in Oxford to celebrate UK manufacturing and innovation in the production of electric vehicles.

On arrival, His Royal Highness will be greeted by members of MINI UK’s Senior Management team to hear about the company’s sustainability and environmental work, focussing on ambitions for their new Electric MINI. The Prince will then undertake a tour of the plant’s factory floor, pausing to meet apprentices using virtual reality technology as part of their training. His Royal Highness will view a new electric battery being inserted into an Electric MINI before meeting long serving staff, some of whom are fourth generation employees of the plant. Finally, The Prince will have the opportunity to drive a new Electric MINI off of the production line. Before departing, His Royal Highness will unveil a plaque to commemorate the visit. 

For over fifty years, The Prince of Wales has used his unique position to champion action for a sustainable future. Over the decades, The Prince of Wales has launched a number of sustainability initiatives aimed at delivering practical outcomes. In late 2019, His Royal Highness launched the Sustainable Markets Initiative. The Prince uses his position to help raise public awareness about sustainability challenges and solutions through his speeches, articles, books and films. He is also Patron of a wide range of organizations working for sustainability, offering support and encouragement for their work. 

As well as promoting sustainability through his work, His Royal Highness has taken many steps personally to live in a more sustainable way. Around half of his office and domestic energy use comes from renewable sources such as woodchip boilers, air-source heat pumps, solar panels and “green” electricity. Their Royal Highnesses’ Household strives to minimise its environmental impact across its activities, including travel, energy use and the indirect impact of the products and services it uses. 

MINI Oxford 

The visit of HRH The Prince of Wales to the MINI plant in Oxford falls at a key time as the BMW Group is celebrating twenty successful years of MINI production, with more than five million cars built at the plant in that time, exported to 110 countries around the world. Most recently this has included the MINI Electric, which has been a great success since its launch in 2020 and will see volumes doubling in 2021. 

His Royal Highness will hear about the importance of electric cars in helping to reduce CO2 emissions and BMW Group’s ambitious targets in this regard. The company has committed to reducing CO2 from its production operations by 80 per cent by 2030, compared to 2019 and by 40 per cent for its cars over the same period. Plant Oxford features one of the largest roof-mounted solar power plants in the country with enough power to supply 850 houses. 

BMW Group endeavours to encourage young people to choose a career in engineering and is particularly proud of its apprenticeship scheme. The Prince will meet some of the 130 apprentices on the programme, who will demonstrate some of their innovative training. He will also meet a number of the company’s longest-serving staff. A quarter of the employees have worked on site for more than twenty years and a number are from third or even fourth generations of the same family. 

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex Welcome Baby Lilibet

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Official Royal Wedding Photographs Released. Photo credit Alexi Lubomirski.
Official Royal Wedding Photographs Released. Photo credit Alexi Lubomirski.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex Welcome Baby Lilibet

Today at Royal Life magazine we’re celebrating the news that The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have welcomed baby Lili to their family.

Her Majesty The Queen, The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, along with The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, have all shared their messages of congratulations, which you can view below.


Statement from the Press Secretary for The Duke and Duchess of Sussex

It is with great joy that Prince Harry and Meghan, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, welcome their daughter, Lilibet “Lili” Diana Mountbatten-Windsor, to the world. Lili was born on Friday, June 4th at 11:40 a.m. in the trusted care of the doctors and staff at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara, CA.

She weighed 7 lbs 11 oz. Both mother and child are healthy and well, and settling in at home.

Lili is named after her great-grandmother, Her Majesty The Queen, whose family nickname is Lilibet. Her middle name, Diana, was chosen to honor her beloved late grandmother, The Princess of Wales.

This is the second child for the couple, who also have a two-year-old son named Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor. The Duke and Duchess thank you for your warm wishes and prayers as they enjoy this special time as a family.


Plans announced for The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Central Weekend 2022

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Queen Elizabeth II smiling during a visit to the headquarters of British Airways at Heathrow Airport, London, to mark their centenary year.

Plans announced for The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Central Weekend 2022

There will be year-long Platinum Jubilee celebrations throughout the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth and around the world as communities come together to celebrate The Queen’s historic reign.

In 2022, Her Majesty The Queen will become the first British Monarch to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee, seventy years of service, having acceded to the throne on 6th February 1952 when Her Majesty was 25 years old.

Throughout the year, Her Majesty and members of the Royal Family will travel around the country to undertake a variety of engagements to mark this historic occasion culminating with the focal point of the Platinum Jubilee Weekend in June – one year from today.

An extended bank holiday, from Thursday 2nd to Sunday 5th June, will provide an opportunity for communities and people throughout the United Kingdom to come together to celebrate the historic milestone. The four days of celebrations will include public events and community activities, as well as national moments of reflection on The Queen’s 70 years of service.

Thursday 2nd June

The Queen’s Birthday Parade (Trooping the Colour): Over 1,400 parading soldiers, 200 horses and 400 musicians will come together in the traditional Parade to mark The Queen’s official birthday, usually held on the second Saturday in June. 

Beginning at Buckingham Palace, the Parade will move down The Mall to Horse Guard’s Parade, joined by Members of the Royal Family on horseback and in carriages. The Parade will close with the traditional RAF fly-past, watched by The Queen and Members of the Royal Family from the Buckingham Palace balcony.

Platinum Jubilee Beacons: The United Kingdom’s long tradition of celebrating Royal Jubilees, Weddings and Coronations with the lighting of beacons will be continued to mark the Platinum Jubilee. Beacons will be lit throughout the United Kingdom, Channel Islands, Isle of Man and UK Overseas Territories.

For the first time, beacons will also be lit in each of the capital cities of the Commonwealth countries to celebrate The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

Friday 3rd June

Service of Thanksgiving: A Service of Thanksgiving for The Queen’s reign will be held at St Paul’s Cathedral. Further events will be announced in due course.

Saturday 4th June

The Derby at Epsom Downs: Her Majesty The Queen, accompanied by Members of the Royal Family, will attend the Derby at Epsom Downs.

Platinum Party at the Palace: The BBC will stage and broadcast a special live concert from Buckingham Palace that will bring together some of the world’s biggest entertainment stars to celebrate the most significant and joyous moments from The Queen’s seven decade reign. Members of the public will be invited to apply to attend this special event and details of the ballot for UK residents to secure audience tickets will be released in due course.

Sunday 5th June

The Big Jubilee Lunch: Every year since the idea began in 2009 The Big Lunch has encouraged communities to celebrate their connections and get to know each other a little bit better, coming together in a spirit of fun and friendship. In 2022 The Big Lunch will bring the Jubilee celebrations into the heart of every community. 

People are invited to share friendship, food and fun with neighbours as part of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations. A Big Jubilee Lunch can be big or small – street party or picnic, tea and cake or a garden barbeque. The Big Lunch provides tips and ideas for hosting an event.

The Platinum Jubilee Pageant: A pageant featuring over 5,000 people from across the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth will take place against the backdrop of Buckingham Palace and the surrounding streets. It will combine street arts, theatre, music, circus, carnival and costume and celebrate the service of Her Majesty’s reign, as well as honouring the collective service of people and communities across the country.

Further announcements:

Later this month details of a special Jubilee emblem competition, in conjunction with the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Design Museum and the Royal College of Art, will be released. The winning entry will become the official emblem for the celebrations next year. 

More information on the details of the central weekend and other celebratory events across the UK and around the Commonwealth will be made in the months to come. 

The Prince of Wales Makes A Virtual Visit to Nigeria

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The Prince of Wales Makes A Virtual Visit to Nigeria with the International Rescue Committee
The Prince of Wales Makes A Virtual Visit to Nigeria with the International Rescue Committee

The Prince of Wales Makes A Virtual Visit to Nigeria with the International Rescue Committee

The Prince of Wales, Patron, the International Rescue Committee (IRC), has made a virtual visit to Nigeria to learn about the organisation’s work in the northeast of the country. During a video call with IRC staff, His Royal Highness met doctors at Mashamari Stabilisation Centre in Maiduguri treating children with malnutrition.

His Royal Highness heard how the effects of Covid-19 in the region and could, in the worst-case scenario, push the country towards extreme hunger this year. During the call, The Prince said, “Conflict remains by far the largest driver of hunger, and the climate crisis, of course, helps to compound this. And then again, on top of it all, you have the Covid-19 pandemic, creating a devastating impact on the countries who can least afford it.”

Before concluding, His Royal Highness said, “I hope one day, before too long, with travel and so on, I should be able to come back to Nigeria and see what you’re doing. In the meantime, bless you, and thank you for all your marvellous work.”

The Prince of Wales most recently visited Nigeria in 2018, accompanied by The Duchess of Cornwall.

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) helps people affected by humanitarian crises to survive, recover and rebuild their lives. They deliver lasting impact by providing health care, helping children learn, and empowering individuals and communities to become self-reliant, always with a focus on the unique needs of women and girls. The Prince of Wales became Patron of the IRC in January 2020.

Founded in 1933 at the call of Albert Einstein, the IRC now work in over 40 crisis-affected countries as well as communities throughout Europe and the Americas. Learn more at www.rescue-uk.org

The Duchess of Cornwall Visits Royal Academy of Arts

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Literacy
The Duchess of Cornwall, patron of the National Literary Trust, during her visit to North Swindon Library, where she learned about the Trust's Swindon Hub and met children involved in the Lost Words project, 2019.

THE DUCHESS OF CORNWALL WILL VISIT THE NEWLY REOPENED ROYAL ACADEMY OF ARTS 

Wednesday 26th May 2021 

The Duchess of Cornwall, Patron, Royal Academy Friends, will visit the Royal Academy of Arts to celebrate the gallery’s reopening following the relaxation of coronavirus restrictions. Her Royal Highness will visit two exhibitions, one by painter David Hockney and another by RA Schools graduate Michael Armitage. The Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London W1J 0BD. 

The Duchess of Cornwall will be greeted on arrival by Sir Ken Olisa, Lord Lieutenant of London. Rebecca Salter, President of the RA and Axel Rüger, Secretary and Chief Executive of the RA will then escort Her Royal Highness to the Main Gallery to view David Hockney: The Arrival of Spring, Normandy, 2020. The Duchess will then meet members of the Friends Board and staff before moving upstairs to view Michael Armitage: Paradise Edict. Before departing, Her Royal Highness will meet members of the ticketing, visitor welcome and security team who have been instrumental in the gallery’s safe reopening post lockdown. 

The Royal Academy of Arts 

The Royal Academy of Arts was founded by King George III in 1768. It has a unique position in being an independent, privately funded institution led by eminent artists and architects whose purpose is to be a clear, strong voice for art and artists. Its public programme promotes the creation, enjoyment and appreciation of the visual arts through exhibitions, education and debate. 

The Royal Academy of Arts reopened its doors on Tuesday 18 May after many months of closure due to the pandemic. Like so many other arts organisations, the RA has been hit hard by the pandemic. However, unlike most of its peers, the RA does not receive revenue funding from the government. As an independent charity, the RA is reliant upon the support of RA Friends, donors, sponsors, patrons and visitors. 

Friends of the RA 

The Friends of the RA is the Royal Academy’s membership programme, founded on 1 January 1977 by Royal Academician and President of the RA, Sir Hugh Casson, with HRH The Duke of Edinburgh becoming its first Patron. HRH The Duchess of Cornwall was appointed as Patron in May 2016. The Friends of the RA are governed by a Board of Directors and the current Chairman is Clive Humby. 

David Hockney: The Arrival of Spring, Normandy, 2020 

Main Galleries (Galleries 2, 3, Central Hall and Lecture Room) 

23 May – 1 August 2021 

The Gabrielle Jungels-Winkler Galleries 

11 August – 26 September 2021 

The Royal Academy of Arts presents David Hockney: The Arrival of Spring, Normandy, 2020 comprising a new body of work created by David Hockney RA during a period of intense activity at his home in Normandy, charting the unfolding and progression of spring. The period in which these works were made coincided with the beginning of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, when Hockney, along with the rest of Europe and much of the world, was in a state of lockdown. Faced with an unprecedented and disconcerting period, Hockney’s focus on the emergence of spring instead celebrates the natural world and urges people, as he does himself in one of his frequently used phrases, to ‘love life’. This is the first time the works have been exhibited, opening exactly a year after the works were made. 

Michael Armitage: Paradise Edict 

The Jillian and Arthur M. Sackler Wing of Galleries 

22 May – 19 September 2021 

The Royal Academy of Arts presents Michael Armitage: Paradise Edict. Born in Kenya in 1984, Michael Armitage graduated from the RA Schools in 2010 and now works between Nairobi and London. In his paintings, Armitage reflects on his experiences in Kenya and on current events, while drawing on contemporary East African art and European art history. Bridging artistic traditions, he looks towards the work of Jak Katarikawe, Meek Gichugu and Chelenge van Rampelberg as well as Titian, Francisco de Goya and Paul Gauguin. In his rich and multi-layered narrative paintings, Armitage questions social norms, religious ideology, politics and cultural clichés. The exhibition includes 15 of the artist’s recent large-scale works, alongside a selection of around 35 works by East African artists chosen by Armitage. 

Exhibition organised by Haus der Kunst, Munich, in collaboration with the Royal Academy of Arts, London. 

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall In Coventry

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The Prince of Wales talks to apprentice Ellie Bowes as he tours the facility and meets employees during his visit to the London EV Company in Coventry, 2019.

THE PRINCE OF WALES AND THE DUCHESS OF CORNWALL WILL UNDERTAKE ENGAGEMENTS IN COVENTRY AND CELEBRATE COVENTRY BEING THE UK’S CITY OF CULTURE 2021 

TUESDAY 25TH MAY 2021 

Engagement 1

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall will visit Coventry Cathedral during the 59th anniversary of its Consecration year. 

During the visit, The Prince of Wales will undertake a tour of the cathedral, lay a wreath and light candles at a short service where the Coventry Litany of Reconciliation will be said as an act of solidarity and remembrance. 

The visit at the beginning of Coventry’s year as UK City of Culture, marks the definitive place of the Cathedral in the identity of Coventry as a City of Peace and Reconciliation. 

The visit provides an opportunity for Their Royal Highnesses to commemorate the destruction of the Cathedral in 1940, to celebrate the consecration of the New Cathedral on 25th May 1962 and to recognise the Cathedral’s ministry of peace and reconciliation. 

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall will be met by the Bishop of Coventry, the Rt. Rev. Dr. Christopher Cocksworth. 

The party will then move to the ruins of the old Cathedral where the Dean of Coventry will provide a brief overview of the historical and spiritual significance of the site before The Prince of Wales lays a wreath at the ‘Altar of Rubble’ before being shown the Reconciliation Statue. 

Their Royal Highnesses will then move to the new Cathedral where they will be given a short tour of the Cathedral, including the Peace Bell, before walking to the main altar where they will be able to observe the Cathedral. The party will then be shown the Stalingrad Madonna, before taking their seats in the body of the cathedral for a short service during which the Coventry Litany of Reconciliation will be said, before Their Royal Highnesses light candles. 

Coventry Litany of Reconciliation 

The Coventry Litany of Reconciliation is said each weekday in the Cathedral and in the Ruins every Friday. 

Ruins and Charred Cross 

The original Cathedral of St Michael was built between the late 14th and early 15th centuries. On 14 November 1940, during a sustained air raid which devastated the city and Coventry’s Cathedral. In the months that followed, it became a place of pilgrimage, remembrance and hope. 

Within hours, it was decided to build a new cathedral, leaving the shell of the medieval building as testament to the waste of war and as an eloquent memorial to the 600 citizens of Coventry who died that night. 

Soon after the bombing, two burnt oak roof beams that had fallen in the shape of a cross were picked up and bound together. An altar was built from the rubble and the cross erected. The words ‘Father Forgive’ were carved in 1948 to highlight the reality that we all need forgiveness, not just those who have harmed us. This altar of forgiveness lies at the heart of the Cathedral’s ministry. This is a copy of the original Charred Cross, which is on display inside. 

Reconciliation Statue 

Originally created in 1977 and called Reunion, this sculpture by Josefina de Vasconcellos shows a couple embracing across barbed wire. It was given to the cathedral in 1995 by Richard Branson to mark the 50th anniversary of the end of the Second World War. An identical sculpture was placed on behalf of the people of Coventry in the Peace Garden in Hiroshima, Japan. Two others are in Belfast and Berlin. 

Baptistery Window – which will be seen when Their Royal Highnesses light candles 

Designed by artist John Piper, working with glassmaker Patrick Reyntiens, and measuring 26-metres high and 17-metres wide, the Baptistery window was designed to be ‘the first important incident’ within the building. The bright primary colours shine on the front and towards the Chapel of Unity to put the Cathedral’s two key purposes in the spotlight: spiritual growth through baptism and the nurturing of peace. 

Echoing the old Cathedral’s windows, its lattice-like stonework is formed of straight lines and sharp angles using modern methods in place of the stonemason’s traditional chisel and hammer. 

Peace Bell 

Engraved with the word ‘peace’ in English and German, this bell was presented by Richard von Weizsäcker, then President of Germany, at a service of reconciliation attended by Her Majesty The Queen Mother in 1990 to mark 50 years since the bombing of Coventry. 

Stalingrad Madonna 

The charcoal sketch of a Russian Mary sheltering her baby was drawn on the back of a military map by Kurt Reuber, a German army surgeon under siege in Stalingrad in December 1942. The words ‘Light, Life and Love’ show that despite the suffering he could still recall the meaning of Christmas. 

The artist died in a prisoner of war camp. The original picture was sent to his wife on the last plane to leave the besieged city. It is now on display in Berlin. This replica was given as a sign of the reconciliation between the former enemies. 

Engagement 2

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall will watch a short performance by artists involved in the Coventry UK City of Culture before Their Royal Highnesses tour an exhibition 2 Tone: Lives and Legacies

HRH The Prince of Wales, Royal Founding Patron of the British Asian Trust, will then meet local members of the Indian Community who are fundraising to support those impacted by the Covid-19 crisis in India and meet with those who have been directly affected by the pandemic in India through friends and relatives living there. 

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall will be greeted by Manny Coulon (Chair of Culture Coventry) on arrival. They will then watch a short dress rehearsal Defying Gravity – part of Youthfulness section of Coventry Moves which takes place on 5th June which is the signature event of the Coventry UK City of Culture. 

Their Royal Highness will then meet David Burbridge, Chairman of the Coventry city of Culture Trust, and visit the 2 Tone: Lives and Legacies exhibition, meeting Martin Roberts (Lead Curator) and Pauline Black (member of the 2 Tone group, The Selecter). The exhibition includes fan and band memorabilia, documentary photography and even clothing worn by the groups. 

Before departing, The Prince will then attend a reception for the British Asian Trust to celebrate those who have helped to raise funds for the charity’s Oxygen For India campaign. Many of those present will have been directly impacted by the Covid-19 crisis in India through friends and relatives living there. 

Coventry UK City of Culture 2021 

Coventry UK City of Culture 2021 will commence in May 2021, running for 12 months. The 365-day cultural programme will reflect Coventry as a diverse, modern city, demonstrating that culture is a force that changes lives. For a whole year, Coventry will celebrate with events, music, dance, theatre, and large-scale spectacle. This epic celebration will also witness the entire region getting involved and benefitting from the opportunities that being a City of Culture brings. It will be co-created with the people of Coventry and bring about long-term social, economic and cultural benefits. 

2 Tone: Lives & Legacies Music Exhibition 

2 Tone: Lives & Legacies is the first-ever major exhibition in the UK devoted to the 2 Tone music sensation. The exhibition explores the formation of the record label and examines its philosophy, political and social message, design and impact on the music charts of the day. It highlights the bands that were part of the label, focussing on The Specials, The Selecter and other ska-influenced bands such as Madness, The Beat and The Bodysnatchers. It looks at 2 Tone’s continuing influence on music, fashion, politics and culture. 

The British Asian Trust 

Founded by The Prince of Wales in 2007, the British Asian Trust wants to see a South Asia that is prospering and fair for all. Its work supports large-scale, sustainable solutions that enable poor and marginalised people to achieve their full potential. Its work has had a positive impact on the lives of almost five million people in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. www.britishasiantrust.org 

The British Asian Trust launched ‘Oxygen For India’, an emergency appeal in response to the Covid-19 crisis in India, it has raised to date £4million. Having consulted with the Indian and UK governments, the British Asian Trust’s advisors and programme partners in India have outlined a package of support that will compliment what industry, government and other charities are doing to help. The support generated is helping purchase 4,835 oxygen concentrators, 2 PSA plants, medical supplies and tele-medical linkages for 2,000 villages in India. Over the coming weeks, the British Asian Trust will deepen its focus on medical care to treat those in rural and hard to reach communities who have little or no access to medical facilities; and start work on longer term strategies that will enable a more sustainable route out of the crisis including supporting a vaccine programme to ensure the poorest people have equal access to life-saving vaccines and mental health support for children and adults to cope with the unprecedented levels of grief and anxiety. 

The British Asian Trust has also partnered with Project Step One for medical doctors to be able to volunteer online and partnered with Shout to provide mental health support to those in the UK who are worried or anxious about the situation in India. 

Engagement 3 

The Prince of Wales, Patron of The Almshouse Association, will celebrate the Association’s 75th anniversary during a visit to the Coventry Church Municipal Charities Bond’s Hospital. 

Bond’s Hospital Almshouses, although dating back to the 16th Century, have expanded with modern new homes as part of the almshouse community. They maintain the historic buildings for their original use – as well as providing new homes for people in housing need. 

The Prince of Wales will be greeted by the Chairman of the Coventry Church (Municipal) charities Victor Keene MBE, Vice Chair Mrs V Rigby, Mrs E Fathi, Mr N Phillips both of The Almshouse Association, Mr R Kenyon Chairman of Bond’s Hospital Estate Charity and Mr M White CEO of Coventry Church (Municipal) Charities. 

His Royal Highness will meet trustees and sign the visitor’s book in the boardroom of Bond’s Hospital, which is a member of the Almshouse Association. 

The Prince will then join residents from Bond’s Hospital almshouses in the City and staff in the garden at a reception where His Royal Highness will cut a cake to mark the 75th anniversary of the Association and Elizabeth Fathi, Chair of The Almshouse Association, will say a few words. 

The Almshouse Association 

Almshouses are a 1,000 year old form of community housing for people in housing need. Almshouse charities own and manage over 30,000 almshouses in the UK, supporting approximately 36,000 residents, providing affordable, community homes for local people in housing need. The Almshouse Association, which is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, is a membership charity that represents a network of over 1600 independent almshouse charities across the UK. 

The Association also provides loans, grants and funding advice to member charities for redevelopment and refurbishment of their almshouses, as well as crisis support. 

The Almshouse Association has research underway to show the value of small scale, charity led, homes that focus on compassion, community and companionship. 

The Almshouse movement is seeking to build more almshouses to respond to the great need for genuinely affordable homes within the communities where people strong local connections. 

Bond’s Hospital Almshouse 

In the 16th Century, Coventry was an important centre of the woollen trade, manufacturing and exporting wool and textiles. In their wills, two of the city’s most prosperous merchants, left estates to found almshouses for the benefit of members of the Trinity Guild who had fallen on hard times. Thomas Bond’s bedehouse was founded in Hill Street in 1506 for ten poor men and a woman to ‘dress their meat’ and in 1509 William Ford’s Hospital and Chantry was built in Greyfriars’ Lane and accommodated six poor men and their wives. Over the years, Bond’s came to house only men and Ford’s only women. Both now have a happy mix of both. 

In 1836, Bonds Hospital needed extensive restoration as it had been seriously neglected. Ford’s Hospital was partly destroyed in the Second World War but was restored in 1953 after a public appeal. More recently, Bond’s Tudor building and a 70s extension have been upgraded and a fine new wing added. Ford’s has also been refurbished and now has five flats with every modern facility. In 2020 a further 45 flats were added in a new development, Bond’s Lodge. 

In total, the charity has 125 residents accommodated in 117 self-contained apartments. The almshouses are managed by a staff team of 11 led jointly by the Operations Manager and CEO/Clerk. 

Engagement 4

The Duchess of Cornwall will visit Coventry Central Library and meet library users who will be taking part in some of the activities that the library offers. Her Royal Highness will also launch ‘One Million Reads Coventry’ where library visitors are taking on the challenge of reading one million books by 2022. As part of the launch, The Duchess will read a short excerpt from the Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. 

Her Royal Highness will be entertained by a modern dance performance by the Off- Balance Dance company and music performed by Abz Winter and DeeDeeLay as part of the UK City of Culture. 

On arrival at the library, Her Royal Highness will be met by Peter Barnett Head of Services and Carol Robinson Central Library Manager. 

The Duchess will be informed of the library services before moving to a children’s area where she will join in with their reading and rhyme time for 0 – 5 year olds. Her Royal Highness will read a short excerpt from the Hungry Caterpillar. 

The Duchess will then meet people involved in Creative Kindness, a project that links crafts with positive well-being and kindness. Her Royal Highness will also view a model of medieval Coventry, created by model maker Peter Garvett. 

Her Royal Highness will then move to the teen space where she will meet children from Eden Girls School. The teenagers are involved in encouraging youngsters to use the library and will be creating posters for a new display. The Duchess will also be shown a selection of books that the library holds in different languages, before meeting staff involved in ‘Reading Friends’, a project which helps to support older members of the community 

The Duchess will also watch a perforce by Off Balance Dance – presenting work in progress from ‘Next Chapter’ – their creative contemporary class for 50+ and 

Deedeelay and Abz Winter performing together. Both artists from the Front Room Sessions, an album produced entirely in lockdown by the City of Culture Trust, this performance demonstrates how City of Culture 2021 is bringing the arts to different settings in the City. 

Her Royal Highness has a strong interest in shining a spotlight on the importance of literacy and is Patron of several organisations which promote and support literacy, including the National Literacy Trust and the Book Trust. 

Her Royal Highness is also involved in ‘The Duchess of Cornwall’s Reading Room’, which is a hub for literary communities around the world and celebrates literature in all its form. The Duchess also shares some of Her Royal Highness’s favourite books on the platform. 

The Reading Room (@duchessofcornwallsreadingroom)

Get it Loud in Libraries 

Coventry Central Library is one of the most visited libraries in the UK. The Library has a strong community focus that aims to promote literacy across cultural and language divides through a range of free activities. 

Since becoming the City Library, the building has maintained the double height dance-floor space that can still be used today. The Library regularly hosts gigs as part of ‘Get it Loud in Libraries’ an Arts Council funded initiative. 

Since 1986, the building has seen a number of interior redesigns including the creation of a designated Children’s area, Teenage area, Health and Well-being zone and designated space for free computer use. 

One Million Reads Coventry 

With the help of an Arts Council Award for £97,000, Coventry Libraries and Information Service is linking up with Coventry City of Culture Trust to deliver a fantastic programme of events including One Million Reads Coventry where library visitors will be taking on the challenge of collectively reading one million books by May 2022. 

Engagement 5

The Prince of Wales will visit the Daimler Powerhouse and meet artists who create outdoor and site-specific creative work. 

His Royal Highness will then, as Patron of the Canal & River Trust, travel on a working heritage boat Scorpio up the Coventry Canal to the Coventry Canal Basin. During the short journey, The Prince will meet local community groups helping to look after the canal. 

On arrival at the Coventry Canal Basin, His Royal Highness will watch performances showcasing the UK City of Culture celebrations. 

The Prince of Wales will be met by Roger Medwell Chair of Imagineer and Allan Leighton from Canal & River Trust. 

At the former Daimler Factory, now known as The Daimler Powerhouse, The Prince will undertake a short tour of the building. His Royal Highness will meet artists involved in building a ‘ship’ powered by tricycles – the ship is going to travel into communities reconnecting people to blue spaces/the ocean. The Prince will also meet a learning disabled artist who is working on a public art commission for the City of Culture 2021, inspired by his commitment to saving wildlife in the city before meeting an artistic director creating a major new artwork out of bamboo, considered the most sustainable building material on the planet, for the Birmingham Commonwealth Games. 

The Prince will then undertake a short walk to the Canal where he will be met by representatives from the Canal & River Trust, before boarding the working heritage boat Scorpio for a short ten-minute boat ride to Coventry Canal Basin. Onboard, His Royal Highness will meet representatives from the local community and volunteer groups who, over the last 18 months, have worked alongside the Canal & River Trust to transform the canal into a community space where local people can spend time being next to the water and close to nature. 

At the Coventry Canal Basin, His Royal Highness will watch a preview performance by Highly Sprung, a physical theatre company and Random String, an art collaborative who are working on a project with the Canal & River Trust to combine art and technology to deepen our engagement with the natural world. 

The Daimler Powerhouse 

Was originally the first car factory in Britain and later was where the first Forklift Truck was created. 

Canal & River Trust 

The charity, Canal & River Trust, cares for and brings to life 2,000 miles of canals and river navigations across England & Wales. The charity helps to bring communities together to make a difference to their local waterway. 

Coventry Canal 

The Coventry Canal starts in Coventry Canal Basin and stretches for 38 miles into the Midlands’ countryside. The 5½ mile stretch from Coventry Canal Basin to Hawkesbury Junction is where the Coventry Canal meets the Oxford Canal. It was once a busy trade route. Due to the closure of local collieries, by the 1950s the Coventry Canal began to decline and risked being closed forever. Thanks to volunteers and the Canal & River Trust, the canal was saved. 

Heritage Working Boat – Scorpio built in 1935 in Northwich 

Scorpio was part of the fleet for the Grand Union Canal Carrying Company and carried goods such as coal from the Midlands to London. In 1948 the boat was transferred to British Waterways Transport where she became part of the fleet carrying goods and equipment needed to maintain the canals. 

Community Groups represented on Scorpio 

Coventry Mercia Lions Club – This group has adopted 2.5 miles of canal and plans to operate regular clean-up patrols. They intend to work with other groups to create a ‘peace garden’ in the basin and bring a wider network of businesses and faith groups into partnership with the Canal & River Trust. 

Crises – A national charity, working with vulnerable and homeless people has adopted the Canal Basin Garden. Working in partnership with the Lions Club, they plan to develop the basin garden as a therapeutic offering by creating plots for people to garden and improve. 

Good Gym – A national charity, providing a combination of exercise and voluntary activity to its members. Their groups run along the regions canals, collecting waste and litter as they go. 

City of Culture performers 

Imagineer – make live events, in particular theatre and outdoor performance, education programmes, special commissions and touring work. They’re based in the former Daimler factory. 

Highly sprung – is one of the UK’s leading physical theatre companies making work for and with children and young people. They create outdoor and indoor performances that tell stories through movement, gesture and dance. They also train artists in physical theatre and run projects in primary and secondary schools here and across the world. 

Ludic Rooms – create post digital artworks, experiences and events that empower communities, offering creative opportunities to engage with technologies through experimentation and play. They work with arts, heritage and community organisations, local authorities and education providers to demystify creative technologies and tackle the social challenges of the 21st Century. They also support independent artists through development programmes, commissioning and training initiatives. 

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall Visit Northern Ireland

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The Duke and Duchess of Cornwall during a 2020 visit to Treverbyn Community Hall, St Austell, where they met volunteers from the local area and the Cornwall Community Foundation, of which The Duchess is Patron.

Tuesday 18th May – Wednesday 19th May 2021 

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall have arrived in Northern Ireland to undertake a series of engagements over the next two days. 

Tuesday 18th May 

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall will begin their two-day visit around Northern Ireland in Belfast, where they will learn about the city at Belfast City Hall. 

Their Royal Highnesses will then hear about the importance of youth work for the future of Northern Ireland and its communities at the Education Authority HQ. 

The Prince will tour the shipyard, Harland and Wolff to celebrate the company’s 160th anniversary and congratulate workers on their work and contribution to the industry. 

At Slieve Gullion Forest Park, The Ring of Gullion, The Prince of Wales will learn of the organisation’s conservation work and volunteering projects as a Geopark. 

The Duchess of Cornwall will visit 2 Rifles in her capacity as Colonel-in-Chief of The Rifles where she will meet members of the battalion and open a Welfare Garden. 

The Duchess of Cornwall will then visit a local silversmith in Hillsborough and tour her workshop. 

Their Royal Highnesses will end the day at Hillsborough Castle. 

Belfast City Hall

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall will first attend Belfast City Hall. 

His Royal Highness will meet with Historians discussing the Centenary of Northern Ireland. 

The Duchess will hear about Belfast’s ambition to become a UNESCO City of Music and be introduced to the women’s steering group. 

Their Royal Highness will together meet with staff from Belfast City Hall to hear about the past, present and future of Belfast and learn of the new vision for the city. 

Belfast City Hall was the site of the opening of the first Parliament of Northern Ireland on 22 June, 1921. The Parliament was opened by King George V following Northern Ireland’s first general election held on 24 May 1921. Belfast City Council as part of their ongoing Decades of Centenary programme, are currently undertaking a range of initiatives to explore the 1921 Centenary. 

Education Authority Headquarters

Their Royal Highnesses will then make the short journey across to the Education Authority Headquarters in the Cathedral Quarter of Belfast. 

The Prince and The Duchess will meet with Youth workers who will update Their Royal Highnesses, using display boards as visual aids, on recent events. Two young people will also offer personal testimonies on their experiences and the impact of the youth services they have received. 

Their Royal Highnesses will then join a seated conversation led by Assistant Director for Youth Services, Arlene Kee. 

This visit will acknowledge the role of youth workers and their contribution to the community and keeping young people safe. 

The Education Authority is responsible for, ensuring that efficient and effective primary and secondary education and youth services are available to meet the needs of children and young people, and providing support for the provision of efficient and effective youth services

Harland and Wolff

The Prince of Wales will commemorate Belfast’s long history of commercial shipbuilding by touring the Shipyard, Harland and Wolff. 

The site offers two of the largest drydocks in Europe as well as two iconic yellow ‘Goliath’ type gantry cranes – named ‘Samson’ and ‘Goliath’. 

His Royal Highness will then proceed to the Fabrication workshop to view a welding demonstration and meet with staff. His Royal Highness will learn how the site has developed and adopted during its long history and conclude the visit by unveiling a plaque to mark the company’s 160th Anniversary. 

The visit will mirror The Duke of Edinburgh’s 1977 trip to the site. His Royal Highness will have the opportunity to meet with an employee who was present when The Duke visited as well as a fourth-generation employee whose family were also part of the 1977 visit. 

Harland & Wolff was established on 11th April 1861 by founders, Sir Edward James Harland and Gustav Wilhelm Wolff. The company’s heritage includes work on some of the world’s most iconic ships, from the RMS Titanic, RMS Olympic, HMRS Britannic and HMS Belfast, to SS Canberra for P&O and the tanker Myrina – the first supertanker to be built in the UK. 

Samson is the larger of its twin gantry cranes and was completed in 1974 and stands 106 metres (348ft) tall. Goliath was completed in 1969 and stands 96 metres (315ft) tall – the smaller of the two cranes sits slightly further inland closer to Belfast City. 

Slieve Gullion Forest Park

His Royal Highness will visit Slieve Gullion Forest Park, The Ring of Gullion, County Armagh. 

On arrival, The Prince will have an opportunity to view the scenery and receive an overview of the work carried out at the site by Geopark Manager, Darren Rice. 

His Royal Highness will proceed to tour the park, following the path through deciduous woodland and will meet donors, trustees, volunteers and conservation workers along the way. The Prince will learn how the park operates to reduce erosion on traditional stonework and supports local trade, buying sheep’s wool to create fleeces to under-lay the footpaths. His Royal Highness will also learn of the work being done to help preserve the population of red squirrels. 

The Prince will also watch a musical performance by a group of children from The Ring of Gullion Traditional Arts Partnership (TAP), a community arts association, focussed on developing expertise in the performance and knowledge of traditional music and song through increased cross-generational cultural activity and greater community cohesion in the Fairy Glen, and hear about the Irish myths and legends that surround the park. 

The Ring of Gullion is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and one of the best examples of a volcanic ring dyke system in the U.K. At the centre of the AONB rises Slieve Gullion, a dramatic landscape of rugged uplands, forest and wild terrain. The Ring of Gullion boasts incredible biodiversity. Some of Northern Ireland’s most threatened species, such as the red squirrel and the pine marten, find sanctuary there. 

The country park of which it is a part is carrying out a number of conservation activities and has a large volunteer programme. It also encourages traditional crafts such as dry stone walling and acts as a focus point for community engagement. 

2 Rifles

The Duchess of Cornwall, Colonel-in-Chief of The Rifles, will visit 2 Rifles. 

The Duchess will be briefed on upcoming events for the Battalion as well as their challenges and opportunities before watching the company conduct field craft training. Her Royal Highness will officially open The Welfare Garden before departing. 

In July 2020, The Duchess of Cornwall took over the role of Colonel-in-Chief of The Rifles from her father-in-law, The Duke of Edinburgh during two ceremonies at Highgrove and Windsor Castle. 

On 7th September 2020, The Duchess visited 1 Rifles, Her Royal Highnesses’ first visit to The Rifles following her new appointment. Earlier this month, 7th May 2021, The Duchess of Cornwall met Riflemen of 5th Battalion The Rifles in Wiltshire and their families.

Silversmith, Cara Murphy

The Duchess of Cornwall will then visit the workshop of Silversmith, Cara Murphy. 

Her Royal Highness will have the opportunity to view Cara’s sketches and examples of her silverwork. The Duchess will then watch Cara demonstrate part of the process of silversmithing. 

Cara set up her small business 26 years ago and is the daughter of a Silversmith, with whom she shares her workshop. Her Majesty The Queen once gifted The President of Ireland a silver jug that was made by Cara’s father. The traditional art craft has passed through generations of Cara’s family; Cara’s daughter is currently studying Silversmithing and Jewellery at Glasgow School of Art. 

Cara is a Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths and an Associate Lecturer at Ulster University. Cara’s commissions have included the Randox Grand National Trophy, Neven Spence Memorial Trophy – Irish Rugby Union Players Association and The Silver Trust at 10 Downing Street.

The Prince of Wales Visits Wales

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The Prince of Wales signs a petal as part of the Great Daffodil Appeal during a visit to the Marie Curie Hospice in Cardiff and the Vale, Wales.
The Prince of Wales signs a petal as part of the Great Daffodil Appeal during a visit to the Marie Curie Hospice in Cardiff and the Vale, Wales.

Friday 14th May 2021

Engagement 1
The Prince of Wales will visit BCB International Cardiff – supplier of protective, medical and defence equipment. His Royal Highness will tour the factory and view their full production processes. During the visit The Prince will see Polar survival kits being packed and camouflage nets being cut.

The Prince of Wales will be greeted by the Lord Lieutenant on arrival and the owners of BCB International, Andrew and Janey Howell.

His Royal Highness will visit the Bee C Bee’s Wellbeing garden, which was created as part of a Mental Health Awareness week initiative to provide access to Nature, before touring the production process and the Sales Office. In the factory The Prince will be given an opportunity to pack a Polar survival kit before it heads off on an Artic bound vessel.

In the research and development area, His Royal Highness will take part in a demonstration of camouflage nets being cut. The nets are produced for the British MoD among others and the company has the nets assembled offsite at Prisons across the country. BCB International has a strong relationship with the prison service. They offer inmates the opportunity to learn valuable skills while assisting with the production of some of their items.

The Prince will then move through the warehouse to an outside area where he will watch a demonstration of Fire Dragon fuel. The fuel is an all-weather, eco-friendly and toxin free fuel and is currently being used by the British MoD as their fuel source for their soldiers on expeditions to heat their water and rations and keep them safe.

His Royal Highness will unveil a plaque to officially open the new headquarters of BCB before leaving.

BCB International Cardiff is a family-owned Business and well established designer, manufacturer and supplier of protective, medical and survival equipment to the defence outdoor and marine markets.

The company turned their production to the supply of protective equipment and hand sanitiser in COVID-19.
Upon receiving a bottle of the sanitiser from the company in Lockdown, The Prince accepted Andrew Howell’s invitation to visit their facilities.

BCB dates back to 1854, Dr Browne developed a cough medicine that was distributed to the British troops in the Crimean War, suffering in the trenches. Dr Browne’s Cough Bottle company then became BCB Ltd in 1914. In 1949, BCB Ltd was bought by Deryck Howell, a Cardiff Chemist as a wholesale pharmacy to supply his chemist shops.

Andrew Howell joined his father at BCB Ltd. in 1979 and developed the company into manufacturing the world’s first life raft survival kit. Andrew continued to develop his branch of BCB Ltd., and in 1979 he set up BCB International, to focus on designing and manufacturing survival equipment.

The company’s driving force, CANEI: Continuous and Never-Ending Innovation, sparked an array of unique survival products including shark repellent, first aid kits, ballistic protective underwear, dubbed ‘Blast Boxers’, camouflage cream and floating body armour.

Today, BCB International supplies to mainly government departments (including the MoD, police and MoJ) and blue-chip companies in the defence and marine markets in 52 countries worldwide, with 40% exports. BCB’s retail and humanitarian sectors also continue to grow, building relationships directly with consumers and countries who need to survive in the extremes and when affected by natural disasters.

This year, BCB International’s primary focus shifted to develop life saving equipment in the battle against the Coronavirus, including an anti-bacterial and anti-viral hand sanitiser, among other protective equipment. Dr Browne’s has come out of retirement and is now the leading product in their Anti-COVID range as 80% proof hand sanitiser. BCB has been working 24/7 since March 2020, working closely with the NHS, police and, with governments around the world, suppling them with their essential PPE needs.

Engagement 2
The Prince of Wales will visit The Engine House which operates a food bank for the local community and will meet volunteers and staff from the Engine House that co-ordinated this facility. The centre was also one of the first Mass Testing Centres in the country and was used as an exemplar. During the visit, His Royal Highness will meet the military and public sector staff involved in the testing. The centre is used by numerous community groups many of which carried on in some form during the pandemic.

The Prince of Wales will be greeted on arrival by the Lord Lieutenant and David Hughes, the Manager of the Engine House.

His Royal Highness will firstly meet volunteers in the donation room where all food donations are received and packed. The Prince will meet people from the local council and other third party providers who helped to have fed and support the vulnerable in the County Borough of Merthyr Tydfil during the pandemic.

His Royal Highness will then meet a small group of young people who will do a brief dance presentation. The dance group use the centre on a weekly basis which has helped support the young people with their wellbeing throughout the pandemic. The Prince will then meet people taking part in a karate lesson before being shown some historic images of the Engine House, including photographs from past royal engagements and a visit by his Grandfather King George V.

His Royal Highness will also meet children from Abercanaid School who take part in ‘Plogging’ which is jogging and litter picking at the same time.

Following this, The Prince will then make his way down to the main hall where he will meet other volunteers of the food bank, Trustees of the Engine House and members of the voluntary sector.

His Royal Highness will then be introduced to the Planning and Operational Team of the Mass Testing facility with a brief demonstration on how the testing was delivered.

At the conclusion of the visit The Prince will unveil a plaque to commemorate his visit.

The Prince of Wales last visited the Engine House in 2006 – when it was saved from demolition and turned into a Community Facility. It has recently undergone further refurbishment.

The local council and volunteers have collected and delivered ten tons of food throughout the County Borough during the COVID crisis.

Engagement 3
The Prince of Wales will visit the former Merthyr Tydfil Synagogue where His Royal Highness will learn about the Foundation for Jewish Heritage’s plan to restore the Grade II listed synagogue that stood derelict for years. The Prince will tour the building and meet Trustees and learn of their plans to restore it to a Welsh Jewish heritage and education centre.

The Prince of Wales will be greeted on arrival by Michael Mail, Founder and Chief Executive of the Foundation for Jewish Heritage. His Royal Highness will also meet conservation architect Ashely Davies (from Cardiff) who is working with the FJH on the restoration of the building.

The Prince will walk around the building and view a small display on the future building plans and images of how the building has and will evolve.

His Royal Highness will be shown one of the stained glass windows that depict the Star of David representing a legacy from the synagogue past.

Merthyr Tydfil Synagogue
The Prince of Wales was invited to view the project by Michael Mail, Chief Executive of the Foundation for Jewish Heritage at the Jewish Community Reception, hosted by His Royal Highness at Buckingham Palace in December 2019.

The synagogue is a striking Grade-II-listed Gothic-style building, dating from 1877. It is the oldest synagogue still standing in Wales and is a local landmark. After years of dereliction, the Foundation for Jewish Heritage acquired it and plans to develop it as a heritage and education centre.

The building was used by the local Jewish community, arriving at a time when Merthyr Tydfil was at the heart of the Industrial Revolution. There was a Jewish presence in Merthy Tydfil since the 1830s and the synagogue was constructed in the 1870s.

With the economic downturn in Merthyr Tydfil in the 20th century, the Jewish community that was centred around the synagogue declined in numbers. At its peak it numbered around 400 members. The synagogue was sold in 1983. Since that time, it has been used for various purposes most recently as a gym.

Since 2006 the building has been lying empty, its condition deteriorating, its fabric compromised with a gaping hole in the roof and broken windows.
The Foundation proposed adapting the synagogue to serve as a Welsh Jewish Heritage Centre that would present the 250+ year history of the Jewish community of Wales and provide a new cultural venue for Merthyr. Following a Feasibility Study, the Foundation purchased the building in 2019 and has recently carried out urgent repairs.

Foundation for Jewish Heritage
The Foundation for Jewish Heritage was established because there was no organisation working internationally on preserving Jewish heritage; a heritage that faces profound challenges as a result of the great upheavals faced by the Jewish people in the 20th century – vast migrations and the tragedy of the Holocaust – which meant that many centuries-old historic sites became orphaned and, without a community of users, remain to this day in danger in many parts of the world.
foundationforjewishheritage.com

The Prince of Wales Visits Breast Cancer Now

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The Prince of Wales meets with front line health and care workers administering and receiving the Covid-19 vaccine during a visit to the Gloucestershire Vaccination Centre at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital.
The Prince of Wales meets with front line health and care workers administering and receiving the Covid-19 vaccine during a visit to the Gloucestershire Vaccination Centre at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital.

THE PRINCE OF WALES VISITS BREAST CANCER NOW

Thursday 13th May 2021

The Prince of Wales, Patron, will visit the Breast Cancer Now Toby Robins Research Centre, 21 years after HRH formally opened the research centre, to hear about achievements and how Covid-19 has impacted Breast Cancer Now’s funded research.

On arrival, The Prince will be greeted by Baroness Delyth Morgan, Chief Executive of Breast Cancer Now, who will introduce him to Jill Thompson, Chair of Trustees at Breast Cancer Now, Professor Paul Workman, Chief Executive of The Institute of Cancer Research London, and Professor Andrew Tutt, Director of the Breast Cancer Now Toby Robins Research Centre at The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR).

During the visit, His Royal Highness will visit a research lab and hear from Dr Rachel Brough, Senior Scientific Officer at The Institute of Cancer Research, London and Dr Alicia Okines, Consultant Medical Oncologist at The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust and Associate Honorary Faculty at The Institute of Cancer Research, London, about an innovative trial currently underway at the Research Centre, looking into a potential treatment for lobular breast cancer, a type of the disease which accounts for up to 15 per cent of all breast cancer cases.

In a reception, His Royal Highness will meet Breast Cancer Now donors whose support has helped fund breast cancer research conducted at the Research Centre. This will include individuals who have taken part in Breast Cancer Now’s £1,000 Challenge, pledging to raise £1,000 for vital secondary breast cancer research at the Research Centre.

Breast Cancer Now is the UK’s first comprehensive breast cancer charity, combining world-class research and life-changing care. The charity’s ambition is that, by 2050, everyone who develops breast cancer will live and be supported to live well.

The Toby Robins Research Centre, which is funded by Breast Cancer Now, is globally renowned for bringing together world leaders in key scientific fields and enabling rapid progress in breast cancer research. The Research Centre currently houses more than 70 researchers from the ICR, with multidisciplinary science from bench to bedside all taking place under one roof.

Breast Cancer Now’s £1,000 Challenge pledges to raise £1,000 for vital secondary breast cancer research at the Centre. Participants include Oscar Coulson-Starley, 11, from Faversham, Kent, who raised funds for Breast Cancer Now since his mum was diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer in 2018, followed by a secondary breast cancer diagnosis in 2020. Another donation from Audrey, 78, a Founding £1,000 Challenger, helped ensure the Research Centre could be built.

Breast Cancer Now, like many medical research charities, has been forced to reduce its investment in research due to a drop in fundraising income caused by the COVID-19. The charity’s funded researchers have also lost valuable time in labs across the UK, due to disruption caused by the pandemic. With around 55,000 women and 370 men diagnosed with breast cancer in the UK every year, and the charity estimating that almost 11,000 people in the UK could currently be living with undiagnosed breast cancer due to the disruption of the pandemic on breast cancer services, innovative breast cancer research has never been more urgently needed.

The Prince of Wales has been Patron of Breast Cancer Now since 1998. In 1999, His Royal Highness opened the Toby Robins Research Centre, which was the UK’s first dedicated breast cancer research centre.

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