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Princess Alexandra Meets Veterans at Official Opening of Royal Star & Garter’s Care Home

Meeting catering staff from Signature Dining, while accompanied by Royal Star & Garter Chief Executive Andy Cole. Credit: Royal Star & Garter

Princess meets WW2 veterans and Invictus Games athlete at Royal Star & Garter’s High Wycombe official opening

20th February, 2020

Her Royal Highness Princess Alexandra has met veterans at the official opening of Royal Star & Garter’s care home in High Wycombe.

Princess Alexandra, accompanied by the Lord Lieutenant of Buckinghamshire Sir Henry Aubrey-Fletcher, is greeted by the Lining Party of The Queen’s Colour Squadron. Credit: Royal Star & Garter

Her Royal Highness was taken on a tour of the state-of-the-art Home during the visit on Thursday, 20 February, and also watched as residents took part in cookery and art activities.

Royal Star & Garter provides loving, compassionate care to veterans and their partners living with disability or dementia, and welcomed the first residents to its £25 million Home in High Wycombe last April. The Princess has been the charity’s President since 1964.

Her Royal Highness was welcomed by the Queen’s Colour Squadron with music from the Central Band of The Royal Air Force. Princess Alexandra was received by the Lord Lieutenant of Buckinghamshire Sir Henry Aubrey-Fletcher and introduced to Royal Star & Garter Chairman Major General Tim Tyler. The Princess was then presented to other dignitaries, including High Sheriff Mrs Julia Upton, Buckinghamshire County Council Chairman Councillor Brian Roberts, Wycombe District Council Chairman Councillor Paul Turner, the Earl and Countess Howe, Wycombe MP Steve Baker, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier, the representative of First Sea Lord Commodore Matt Clark, and the representative of the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Commodore Alan Opie.

Sir Henry joined the charity’s Chief Executive Andy Cole, Chairman Major General Tyler and Home Manager Chelle Daly in escorting the Princess around the 74-bedroom building, which includes specialist dementia care, library, activities room and in-house physiotherapy.

During the tour Princess Alexandra dropped into a pizza-making session in the Home’s specialist dementia care area, and later visited the activities room, where a group of residents were sketching still-life.

The Princess is introduced to WW2 veteran Geoff Smith, 101, by Home Manager Chelle Daly. Credit: Royal Star & Garter

Princess Alexandra met 101-year-old Geoff Smith, who fought in Burma during the Second World War, and John Walmsley, a former Grenadier Guard who took part in The Queen’s coronation in 1953. Her Royal Highness also spoke to other residents, relatives, nurses, carers and physiotherapy staff, and received a posy from 101-year-old Ena Mitchell, whose husband Bill was killed in action in Belgium in 1944.


Ena Mitchell, 101, presented a posy to the Princess. Credit: Royal Star & Garter

Speaking at the official opening, Princess Alexandra paid tribute to all those who have created the Home. She said: “It is an extremely impressive new addition to the charity. May I offer my congratulations to all those involved in its conception, construction and opening, which has been a huge task over many years. I’m sure that the residents will enjoy all the excellent facilities available in what is most importantly, their home. I wish all the staff and volunteers well in this wonderful new building and look forward to the charity opening more homes and services for the veterans in the future.”

Major General Tyler said: “It is a great honour to have Her Royal Highness Princess Alexandra officially open our new High Wycombe Home. This Home means that we can provide our specialist care to even more veterans in their time of need.”

Chelle Daly said: “It was a pleasure to welcome the Princess and to introduce her to our wonderful residents and staff here. We’re immensely proud of the Home and the care we provide, and we’re already looking forward to welcoming her back again!”

Throughout its 104-year history, Royal Star & Garter has been at the forefront of innovations in care to help its residents, and also has strong links to Buckinghamshire. It worked with pioneering spinal injuries expert Dr Ludwig Guttmann from Stoke Mandeville Hospital and its residents took part in a wheelchair archery competition he arranged between the hospital and the charity in 1948 and 1949. This was the forerunner to the Paralympic Games.

Chatting to resident Peter, family friend Barbara (left) and daughter Joanna (right). Credit: Royal Star & Garter

Among the guests at the Home in Hughenden Avenue was Invictus Games athlete Luke Delahunty. RAF veteran Mr Delahunty, from nearby Aylesbury, represented the UK twice at the Games in hand cycling and rowing. He also toured the Home and met residents, including Gary Ward, a younger veteran who takes respite care at the High Wycombe Home. Mr Delahunty said: “It’s been a really special day. The facilities here are great and the Home is really impressive. It’s great to meet so many veterans. The military connection we all share never goes.”

The Duke of Sussex will Visit Abbey Road Studios

Prince Harry At Invictus Games - The Hargue
The Duke of Sussex rides a bicycle during events to launch the one year countdown to next year's Invictus Games in the Hague, in the Netherlands on May 2019


Friday 28th February 2020

The Duke of Sussex will visit Abbey Road Studios to meet Jon Bon Jovi and members of the Invictus Games Choir, who are recording a special single in aid of the Invictus Games Foundation. The song will be recorded in Studio 2 at Abbey Road Studios, which was made famous by The Beatles who recorded 11 out of their 13 albums there.

The song, called Unbroken, was created by Jon Bon Jovi to shine a spotlight on veterans living with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and honour their service. Jon has been a big supporter of the military for a long time as both his parents served in the U.S. Marine Corps. The original version of Unbroken will feature on the forthcoming album Bon Jovi 2020. The charity version of the single, featuring the Invictus Games Choir, will be released in March, in support of the Invictus Games Foundation.

The Invictus Games Choir, which is managed and delivered by Help for Heroes, is made up of wounded, injured and sick veterans and serving personnel from all branches and different ranks of the UK Armed Forces who come together and use the power of music to aid their recovery.

The Invictus Games Foundation is the international charity that oversees the development of the Invictus Games, an international adaptive multi-sport event in which wounded, injured or sick armed services personnel and veterans participate. It celebrates the power of sport in recovery and how it can help, physically or psychologically, those suffering from injuries or illness. The Duke, Patron of the Invictus Games Foundation, founded the Invictus Games with the first event taking part in London in 2014. Since then, the Games have been held three other times – in Orlando (2016), Toronto (2017) and Sydney (2018). The fifth Invictus Games will take place in The Hague in May this year, followed by Düsseldorf in 2022.

Upon arrival, the Duke will head into the recording studio where Jon will talk him through the single and how he has been working with The Invictus Games Choir. The Duke will then watch the choir perform with Jon. Following the performance, The Duke and Jon will meet members of the choir followed by competitors from previous Invictus Games who have been invited to attend this special event.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to Attend a Charity Performance of ‘Dear Evan Hansen’

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attend the annual Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall in Kensington, London.


Noël Coward Theatre, London

Tuesday 25th February, 2020

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will attend a special performance of ‘Dear Evan Hansen‘ at the Noël Coward Theatre on Tuesday 25th February, which is being held in aid of The Royal Foundation. Their Royal Highnesses will watch the show and meet members of the cast. The Duke will make short remarks at the end of the performance.

‘Dear Evan Hansen’ tells the timely and timeless story of Evan, a boy who is struggling to connect in our hyperconnected world. The award-winning musical spans generations and has been credited with helping to start important conversations about mental health between parents and teenagers.

The issue of mental health is a key priority for The Royal Foundation which works to tackle the stigma and encourage more people to talk openly about their mental health. Shout 85258, a free and confidential 24/7 UK text messaging helpline that supports people in crisis and was developed by The Royal Foundation, is one of four not-for-profit partners of the show which provide mental health resources to audiences and beyond.

The Duke of Cambridge is currently spearheading Heads Up, a season-long campaign which uses the influence and popularity of football to show the nation that mental health is just as important as physical health. It follows on from the Heads Together campaign which convened eight charity partners with one voice, encouraged more people in Britain to talk openly about mental health than ever before, and led to more people accessing services as a result.

The Royal Foundation is also supporting efforts to provide children with the best possible start in life, recognising that with greater focus on the early years, we can better provide solid social and emotional platforms for children to make them healthier and more resilient later in life.

In January, the Duchess of Cambridge launched a nationwide survey on the early years – ‘5 big questions on the under 5s’. Conducted by Ipsos MORI, it aims to spark the biggest ever conversation on early childhood that will ultimately help bring about lasting change for generations to come. The survey follows eight years of work by the Duchess of Cambridge in which she has explored how experiences in early childhood often lie at the root of the hardest social challenges the country faces today.

‘Dear Evan Hansen’ features a book by Tony Award-winner Steven Levenson, a score by Academy Award, and Tony and Grammy Award-winning composers Benj Pasek & Justin Paul (‘The Greatest Showman’) and direction by four-time Tony Award nominee Michael Greif (‘Rent’; ‘Next to Normal’). The musical opened at the Noël Coward Theatre in the West End in November 2019; the show is also playing on Broadway, where it opened in 2016 and won 6 Tony Awards, including Best Musical.

The Duke of Cambridge will Visit Nottinghamshire

The Duke of Cambridge does a high-five with entrepreneur Michael Harkins during a visit to the Royal Society of Edinburgh.


Wednesday 26th February 2020

The Duke of Cambridge will carry out engagements in Nottinghamshire on Wednesday 26th February.

His Royal Highness will first visit Tarmac’s National Skills and Safety Park and will meet the company’s young apprentices to learn more about their roles and career ambitions before officially opening the centre. The Duke will then join a meeting with CEOs, managing directors and chairs of leading UK businesses to discuss joint opportunities for companies in the UK to support social mobility and to improve the options available to young people across British society.

Tarmac is the UK’s leading sustainable building materials and construction solutions business. With a 150-year heritage, the company directly employs around 7,000 people at more than 400 sites across the UK, supplying building materials such as asphalt, lime, ready-mix concrete and cement, to infrastructure projects across the country. The new Tarmac National Skills and Safety Park provides a dedicated training facility to equip people working in the construction sector with the skills needed to respond to demands in the UK.

Located at an active quarry near Mansfield in Nottinghamshire, the facility offers first-class, practical and classroom-based training for emerging industry talent – including apprentices, graduates and those retraining from other sectors.

The Duke of Cambridge’s second engagement will be announced once he has arrived at the venue.

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall to Present Queen’s Anniversary Prizes

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall during a tour of the Visitor Centre and the Walled Garden at the reopening of Hillsborough Castle and gardens in Northern Ireland.


Thursday 20th February 2020

The Queen’s Anniversary Prizes for Higher and Further Education for 2018-2020 will be presented by The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall in a ceremony at Buckingham Palace, London.

22 UK universities and colleges have been awarded Prizes in recognition of a range of innovative work.

Their Royal Highnesses, The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall will arrive and meet key representatives from the Royal Anniversary Trust, including the Chairman, Sir Damon Buffini.

They will proceed to The Ballroom for the Prize Giving ceremony and photo opportunity. The Prince of Wales will present medals and The Duchess of Cornwall will distribute scrolls. Their Royal Highnesses will meet guests including Council Members and Trustees in the Blue Drawing Room. Their Royal Highnesses will then progress to meet Prize Winners (in two groups of eleven) in the Picture Gallery.

The Queen’s Anniversary Prizes are the highest National Honour awarded to UK colleges and universities. They are presented every two years to universities and colleges who submit work judged to show excellence, innovation, impact and deliver real public benefit.

Entries in the scheme are invited in any field or discipline and are subjected to rigorous independent assessment in a process managed by the Royal Anniversary Trust, an independent charity.

Work submitted is read by up to eight of the Trust’s 300 readers, drawn from a wide range of professions and disciplines and is referred to relevant specialist, technical and governmental sources for opinion and comment. Entries are reviewed and reported on anonymously and confidentially. The Awards Council of the Trust recommend the entries judged deserving of a Prize to The Queen, on the advice of the Prime Minister.

The creation of The Queen’s Anniversary Prizes was announced in Parliament in 1993 by the Prime Minister, with Her Majesty’s consent and with all-party support. The 2018—2020 round is the thirteenth round of The Queen’s Anniversary Prizes, the first round was announced in 1994 and to date, 275 Prizes have been awarded to 82 universities and 49 further education colleges. The Trust was established in 1990 to create a national programme of educational activities and other events marking the 40th anniversary of The Queen’s accession in 1992.

The Prize itself consists of a silver gilt medallion and a decorated and inscribed certificate granting the award, signed by Her Majesty The Queen.

The Prince of Wales to Undertake Engagements in Wales

The Prince of Wales with industrial director Charles Mario Apollonio during his visit to Pirelli Tyres Ltd in Carlisle to celebrate their 50th anniversary while on a tour of Cumbria.


Friday 21st February

Engagement 1 

His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales will visit CAF train factory in Newport to meet employees, learn about the production process and officially open the facility.

During the visit His Royal Highness will tour the CAF factory floor to meet staff working on different aspects of the production process. The Prince will also have the opportunity to board a partially completed train. Before departing, His Royal Highness will attend a reception for staff and local dignitaries to celebrate the factory’s official opening.


Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF), created in 1917, is a leader in the railway industry headquartered in Beasain, Spain. CAF offers a wide range of products that includes, among others, highspeed and very high-speed trains, regional and commuter trains (diesel and electric), metros, trams and locomotives. CAF employs more than 8,000 people in the design, manufacture and maintenance of subsystems for the global rail market. It has production facilities throughout Spain and in France, Mexico, USA, Brazil and now the UK.

Newport is CAF’s state-of-the-art train manufacturing facility completed in 2017, taking £32m investment, including a sum from the Welsh Government’s Department for Inward Investment. Currently employing around 220 people, with plans to increase this number to 300, the factory is working to complete the build of diesel trains (DMUs) for Northern Rail. The factory is also commencing work on West Midlands DMUs, followed by those for Wales and Borders; securing work for its employees to the end of 2023.

CAF Newport actively supports Women in Rail Welsh Regional Group, with steering group meetings hosted at the factory and runs a graduate training scheme and apprenticeships to be offered in 2020.

Engagement 2 

His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales will visit the new Aston Martin Lagonda factory.

His Royal Highness will be met on arrival by Marek Reichman, Executive Vice President and Chief Creative Officer and Scott Ward, Director of Manufacturing at the St Athan site. His Royal Highness will then test drive Aston Martin’s new SUV, the DBX, and tour the factory floor. Whilst on the tour The Prince will meet engineers working at different stages of the production process, including seat installation and the paint shop.

His Royal Highness will then join a reception to celebrate the new factory, meeting staff and apprentices. HRH will also place a wings badge on the front of a DBX which will be located the reception area of the new Aston Martin facility.

Finally, HRH will unveil a plaque to commemorate his visit.

Aston Martin

Aston Martin Lagonda is a luxury automotive group focused on the creation of exclusive cars and SUVs. The iconic Aston Martin brand fuses the latest technology, exceptional hand craftsmanship and timeless design to produce models including the Vantage, DB11, Rapide AMR and DBS Superleggera. The Lagonda brand will be relaunched as the world’s first luxury electric vehicle company. Based in Gaydon, England, Aston Martin Lagonda designs, creates and exports cars which are sold in 54 countries around the world.

New factory in St Athan, Wales

In 2016, Aston Martin Lagonda announced that St Athan had been chosen as the location for its newest centre of manufacturing excellence in the UK. Originally an RAF training centre, the base was home to 14,000 personnel during World War II and was used for training both ground and air crew. After the war, St Athan continued primarily as a training facility and also the major RAF maintenance base for aircraft.

Since 2016, St Athan has undergone a three-year transformation from Royal Air Force base to state-of-the-art manufacturing facility. The completion of the St Athan facility means that it joins the marque’s Gaydon headquarters and its Wellesbourne and Newport Pagnell facilities as a centre of the highest quality of British craftmanship and engineering.

The new £50million factory will create 1,000 highly skilled jobs in the area.

Engagement 3

His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales will visit the British Airways Maintenance Centre (BAMC) to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the company.

The Prince of Wales will be met on arrival by Alex Cruz, CEO of British Airways.

His Royal Highness will tour the site and will meet engineers working to maintain aircraft at the site. The Prince will be shown the inside of the aircraft engine and how engineers have made new aircraft 25-40% more fuel efficient than the aircraft they replace.

The Prince will then board the aircraft and will be shown some of the sustainable changes that are being made on board the new fuel-efficient Boeing 787-900.

Following a short speech by CEO Alex Cruz, His Royal Highness will unveil a plaque to commemorate his visit made by the engineering team at the facility.

The BAMC was opened by His Royal Highness in July 1993 and he is visiting again to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the company. The facility currently employs 550 local people in highly skilled engineering jobs. Alongside this it runs a three-year apprenticeship programme on site where apprentices work alongside highly skilled engineers.

British Airways Sustainability Programme:

British Airways is committed to achieving net zero CO2 emissions by 2050 and has clear pathway to achieve this. Starting in January 2020, the airline began offsetting carbon emissions on all its flights within the UK. This means that all customers flying within the UK on flights operated by British Airways will have the carbon emissions from their flights offset by the airline and invested in carbon reduction projects around the world.

In addition, the airline is investing in new aircraft which are 20 – 40% more fuel efficient than the aircraft they replace. The airline is currently operating more than 60 of these new aircraft and has more than 100 on order.

British Airways is also leading the way in sustainable fuels development. IAG, British Airways’ parent company has invested $400m in sustainable fuels development over the next 20 years and British Airways has partnered with renewal fuels company, Velocys, to build a plant in Lincolnshire which will convert household and commercial waste into renewable sustainable jet fuel, a first for the UK and the first time an airline has done this in Europe.

British Airways Centenary Celebrations:

British Airways hosted a range of activities and events throughout the year to mark its 100th birthday. As well as looking back, the airline also hosted BA 2119 – a programme which will lead the debate on the future of flying and explore the future of sustainable aviation fuels, the aviation careers of the future and the customer experience of the future.

Her Majesty the Queen visited British Airways’ Headquarters at Waterside near London Heathrow in May last year to celebrate British Airways’ Centenary. The event involved over 2,500 colleagues celebrating the history of British Airways.

Engagement 4

His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, Patron, Marie Curie, will visit the Marie Curie Hospice, Cardiff and the Vale to meet with patients and staff.

His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales will pay a special visit to the Marie Curie Hospice, Cardiff and the Vale to celebrate its 60th anniversary. The Prince, who has been Patron of the charity since 2003, will tour the hospice in Penarth which provides expert care and support to people living with a terminal illness and their families.

The Prince will be met by several patients and their families as well as hospice staff during a tour alongside Sarah Lloyd-Davies, Hospice Manager, and Matthew Reed, the charity’s Chief Executive. His Royal Highness will also be welcomed by actor and Marie Curie ambassador Suzanne Packer, before unveiling a plaque to mark his visit and cutting a daffodil-themed cake, made by local Michelin-starred chef James Sommerin. His Royal Highness will also become the first person to sign the charity’s Great Big Daffodil which starts its UK-wide tour in Wales the following week in Cwmbran and Cardiff.

The Great Big Daffodil

The Great Big Daffodil, part of the Great Daffodil Appeal, will give people the opportunity to share stories, memories, messages or tributes of someone special – both the loved ones we’ve lost and those that are still here. Marie Curie hopes the Great Big Daffodil will create somewhere for people to take a moment to reflect, remember and pay tribute to those that have been special to them.

The Great Big Daffodil is a 7-foot-tall steel installation, which has specially designed paper books within its petals. People in seven locations across the UK during the Great Daffodil Appeal will be able to visit the Great Big Daffodil and add to the petals their message of someone who’s been special to them. Everyone will be able to share their pictures and heartfelt messages on social media by tagging @mariecurieuk

Catch up on The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall’s most recent engagements, in the latest issue of Royal Life magazine.

A Whirlwind Tour - Prince Charles and Camilla in New Zealand

The Duke of Cambridge to Attend Wales vs France Six Nations Match

The Duke of Cambridge
The Duke of Cambridge throws a rugby ball during a visit to the National Sport Centre in Cardiff to launch the Coach Core Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) Programme.


Principality Stadium, Cardiff

Saturday 22nd February 2020

The Duke of Cambridge, Patron of the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU), will attend the Wales vs France Six Nations Match at the Principality Stadium on Saturday 22nd February.

Before the match, the Duke will meet injured players who are supported by the Welsh Rugby Charitable Trust, of which His Royal Highness is patron. The trust was set up in 1972 as an organisation with a range of education, social and sporting objectives. The principle aim of the charity however has always been to support those players and their families who have been severely injured whilst playing rugby football in Wales.

Catch up on The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s most recent engagements, in the latest issue of Royal Life magazine.

A Trip to the Middle East - Prince William Celebrates Historic Ties

The Duchess of Cambridge to Attend SportsAid Event

The Duchess of Cambridge meets members of the Coastguard helicopter team during a visit to Caernarfon Coastguard and Rescue Helicopter Base in North Wales.


Stratford, London E20

Wednesday 26th February 2020

The Duchess of Cambridge, Patron of SportsAid, will visit the London Stadium at the Olympic Park in Stratford on Wednesday 26th February to join a SportsAid event dedicated to celebrating the role that parents and guardians play in their child’s sporting success.

SportsAid helps young British sportsmen and women aspiring to be the country’s next Olympic, Paralympic, Commonwealth and World Champions. The charity supports over 1,000 athletes each year, the vast majority aged 12 to 18, by helping financially towards training and competition costs.

Most young athletes also rely heavily on their parents and guardians, who are often the ‘team behind the team’, providing financial, logistical and practical support. SportsAid runs sessions for both athletes and their family members, allowing parents and guardians from across sporting disciplines to meet each other, share their stories and experiences, and benefit from the guidance that the charity can provide.

During her visit, the Duchess will join young athletes who are taking part in a series of track and field activities. Her Royal Highness will then meet parents and guardians of SportsAid athletes, past and present, to hear about their experiences, the challenges that they face, and about the impact of the support they receive from the charity. Her Royal Highness will also have an opportunity to listen to a panel discussion involving athletes, parents and guardians.

The Duchess became the Patron of SportsAid in 2013 and has met many young athletes helped by the charity, as well as Olympians and Paralympians who were previously supported by the organisation, at SportsAid’s training days, performance workshops and fundraising events.

The Duchess of Cornwall will Visit Brent, The London 2020 Borough of Culture

The Duchess of Cornwall with one of the finalists in the Queen's Commonwealth Essay Competition 2019 during a literacy event at Turanga Library, on the sixth day of the royal visit to New Zealand.


Wednesday 19th February

Engagement 1

The Duchess of Cornwall will visit the Granville Youth & Community Centre in Kilburn to celebrate Brent’s status as the 2020 London Borough of Culture. During the visit Her Royal Highness will meet with community groups who use the centre and view a cultural performance.

On arrival at The Granville The Duchess of Cornwall will be greeted by local dignitaries and meet children from the adjacent nursery. The Duchess will then move into the main hall to meet Lois Stonock, Artistic Director of the London Borough of Culture 2020, young people from the Blueprint Collective who consult on Borough of Culture programming, Brent 2020 volunteers, participants of RISE (Brent 2020’s official launch) and community advisers. The Duchess will then tour The Granville building and meet local businesses in the enterprise space, which also serves as office space for the Borough of Culture programme, before viewing a cultural performance.

London Borough of Culture

The London Borough of Culture award is inspired by the UK City and European Capital of Culture programmes. The Mayor of London’s Borough of Culture award brings Londoners together and inspires young people putting culture at the heart of local communities. In total, 22 boroughs bid for £1million funding to stage a yearlong programme of cultural events and initiatives, and to develop a plan to make culture an integral part of the borough’s future. Waltham Forest was London Borough of Culture in 2019 when Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall visited the William Morris Gallery in Walthamstow.

The Granville Youth & Community Centre

The Granville is a multi-use community building in the heart of South Kilburn, managed by the South Kilburn Trust. It encompasses affordable workspace and studios for social enterprises and creative artists, as well as community space for activities, events and celebrations. The Granville is inclusive, accessible and affordable for all local people and groups, and offers services that local people need, including youth activities, healthy living, older people’s support, advice services, and exercise and dance classes. It is a place where local people can come to get advice, take part in activities or just relax and meet friends.

Engagement 2

The Duchess of Cornwall will visit the Kiln Theatre to view the recently renovated facility and meet with young people currently taking part in London Borough of Cultural social change project, The Agency.

The Duchess of Cornwall will be greeted by Indhu Rubasingham MBE, Kiln Theatre Artistic Director, and Daisy Heath, Executive Director of Kiln Theatre. Her Royal Highness will then meet members of Kiln Youth Theatre in the John Lyon Space before meeting the cast and crew of Pass Over as well as the play’s writer, Antoinette Nwandu. The visit will conclude with The Duchess meeting “Agents” from the Brent 2020 social change project, The Agency. Before departing, The Duchess will have the opportunity to meet staff from the theatre.

Kiln Tehatre

Kiln Theatre is an internationally renowned, proudly local, theatre in the heart of Kilburn. It produces high-quality, engaging work which presents the world through a variety of lenses, amplifying unheard voices into the mainstream. Led by Artistic Director Indhu Rubasingham and Executive Director Daisy Heath, it makes theatre that crosses continents and tells big stories about human connections across cultures, race and languages.

Its Creative Engagement programme is responsible for making lasting differences, championing the imagination, aspiration and potential of Brent’s community young and old. In the past year alone, Kiln Theatre has run free drama workshops for over 750 young people, 150 of whom are newly arrived in the UK, it has produced a huge community play featuring over 100 local people aged between 11-77 years old, and given away over 2,000 free tickets to people who may not usually visit the theatre. Kiln Theatre is also a participant in Brent 2020 London Borough of Culture programming.

The Agency

The Agency is a youth enterprise project that works with young people from marginalized areas to create social enterprises, events, projects and businesses that will have a positive impact on their local communities. The Agency was originally developed by the Brazilian theatre maker and journalist Marcus Faustini in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro, where the project has become a major force for change – Agencia de Redes para Juventude.

Catch up on The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall’s most recent engagements, in the latest issue of Royal Life magazine.

A Whirlwind Tour - Prince Charles and Camilla in New Zealand

The Prince of Wales will Visit Emma Willis Ltd in Gloucester

The Prince of Wales shelters from the rain under an umbrella during a visit to Wesley Community Centre in Auckland, on the second day of the royal visit to New Zealand.


Monday 17th February 2020

The Prince of Wales will visit Emma Willis Ltd in Gloucester. His Royal Highness will be welcomed to Bearland House by Emma Willis MBE, founder of Emma Willis Ltd.

The Prince will tour the factory floor meeting staff and viewing each stage of the production process. He will visit the cutting room and meet the company’s cutters including two Syrian refugees employed by the company: Nareen Hussain and Ibrahim Khalil. His Royal Highness will also visit the sewing room where he will meet a number of Condé Naste Sewing Scholars. The Prince will hear about The Emma Willis Community Sewing School whilst in this room and will be introduced to its founder, Aysha Randera.

His Royal Highness will then be taken to the finishing and embroidery room to meet members of staff before meeting injured service personnel sponsored by the company’s charity Style for Soldiers. The Prince will view “Art in the Aftermath”, a small exhibition of paintings and poetry created by the injured service personnel.

Finally, His Royal Highness will unveil a commemorative plaque to mark his visit and be invited to sign the visitors book.

Emma Willis Ltd was set up by Emma Willis in 1989 making bespoke shirts in a small highly skilled workroom in South East London. In 1999 she opened a shop on Jermyn Street and now employs 30 people. In 2010 Emma opened the factory at Bearland House in Gloucester where much of the hand cutting and sewing now takes place.

Emma’s passion for high quality British manufacturing and creating employment drives her business. Her aim is to continue to grow the Gloucester factory whilst maintaining all the traditional methods of shirt making and hand cutting, employing and training local, young people. The company also works with local charities in Gloucester to help support vulnerable people through employment. She now employs two highly skilled Syrian refugees at the factory in Gloucester.

Style for Soldiers:

In 2008 Emma started Style for Soldiers, a charity providing complimentary smart clothing, bespoke regimental walking sticks and reunion parties for injured service men and women. In 2018, the charity put on “Art in the Aftermath”, an exhibition of painting, poetry, film, and sculpture by injured service personnel recovering through the creative process from the trauma of war.

Condé Naste Sewing Scholars:

Emma is passionate about raising the profile of the seamstresses in the fashion business and encouraging young people to sew as careers. With the support of Condé Naste’s Chairman Jonathan Newhouse, in 2015 she set up the Condé Naste Sewing Scholarship for deserving young local persons not able to go to university or facing some sort of life challenge. The award consists of a five-year place at Emma’s factory where new arrivals are taught key sewing skills by head seamstress, Kath Muir.

Emma Willis Community Sewing School:

The Emma Willis Community Sewing School is run by Aysha Randera and provides free sewing training for local people at the local Gloucester Friendship Café. Attendees are taught on industrial sewing machines donated by the company.

Catch up on The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall’s most recent engagements, in the latest issue of Royal Life magazine.

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