The Duchess of Cornwall to Carry Out Engagements in West Midlands

The Duchess of Cornwall
The Duchess of Cornwall, in her role President of the Royal Voluntary Service, during her visit to the Dolau Bran Lunch Club to celebrate the club's 40th anniversary at Dol Y Wern in Llandovery, 2019.


Wednesday 22nd January 2020

Engagement 1

The Duchess of Cornwall will tour Elmhurst Ballet School of which she is Patron and visit the school’s newest department, the Health and Wellbeing Centre. HRH will meet staff and pupils, observe a ballet class and watch a performance during the visit.

The Duchess of Cornwall will meet donors, parents, governors and Elmhurst Vice Presidents, Wayne McGregor (Resident Choreographer at the Royal Ballet) and Carlos Acosta (recently appointed Director of the Birmingham Royal Ballet.) The Duchess will then move on to the Health and Wellbeing centre. Here HRH will learn of how Elmhurst works to prevent injury, meet with physiotherapists, school nurses and the school’s strength and conditioning coach.

HRH will also meet a number of school representatives, including Head Boy, Bradley Howell and Head Girl, Maddie Irwin.

The Duchess will then observe a ballet class in Studio One and go on to the auditorium where she will watch a short (10 minute) performance, meet with the school’s Senior Leadership Team and pause for a photograph with pupils. HRH will sign the visitors’ book before departing.

Elmhurst Ballet School

The Duchess of Cornwall and The Prince of Wales share a strong appreciation of dance. Last year The Duchess attended a reception at Victory Services Club to mark the Ninetieth Anniversary of the British Dance Council. The Duchess has acted as Patron of Elmhurst since 2006 and last visited the school in November 2014. The Prince of Wales has been President of Birmingham Royal Ballet since 2003.

Elmhurst Ballet School is a world-renowned centre of excellence in association with Birmingham Royal Ballet and prepares talented young dancers aged between 11 and 19 to become the thinking dance professionals of the future. The school nurtures individuality through a holistic approach which helps students to become independent, collaborative and versatile artists, ready to take their professional places on the world stage. Elmhurst’s dance training is of the highest quality and is delivered by current and former dance professionals. This training is enhanced by opportunities to work with Birmingham Royal Ballet, visiting choreographers and dance artists. Elite but not elitist, Elmhurst believes that talent is classless and its exceptional training opportunities should be available to young dancers regardless of their financial, social or cultural backgrounds. Whilst Elmhurst is an independent school, typically some 80% of students benefit from Government support to train at the school.

New Vice President

Elmhurst welcomed Wayne McGregor CBE, multi-award-winning Choreographer and Director and Resident Choreographer at The Royal Ballet, to their eminent board of Vice Presidents. Wayne’s experience and unique outlook is already influencing Elmhurst’s students through a three-year dance collaboration with Studio Wayne McGregor, which brings a new dimension of our dance training. Launched in September 2018, the collaboration brings opportunities for final year students to perform excerpts from Wayne’s complex and inspiring contemporary repertoire, and to work with his team.

Health and Wellbeing

Carlos Acosta CBE opened the new state-of-the-art Health and Wellbeing Centre in 2016, a dedicated facility which enables the school to grow its sector leading health and wellbeing programme. The centre was in development the last time HRH visited the school in 2014.

The programme covers all aspects of physical and emotional health, from nutrition to reactive and preventative interventions. Sustaining an injury serious enough to warrant time out of training or work for recovery and rehabilitation is a sad reality for most dancers. Working with the University of Wolverhampton, leaders in sports science research, Elmhurst has been conducting studies into the correlation between body strength and injury avoidance and management. Early results are extremely promising and strength and conditioning is now an integral part of their programme.

Engagement 2
To be announced

Engagement 3
To be announced

Engagement 4

The Duchess of Cornwall will celebrate British craftsmanship by visiting the Launer Factory to tour the workshop and meet owners, staff and apprentices.

Her Royal Highness will tour the factory accompanied by CEO, Gerald Bodmer throughout and witness the product-making process, during which she will try her hand at gold-blocking (applying gold lettering to leather.) On the first floor, HRH will meet staff and watch the final product-making process. HRH will then enjoy tea and cake with all 22 workers and owners of the factory.

Launer London is an established British luxury leather brand of more than 75 years. Its head office is located in Surrey, a showroom in Regent Street, London and factory in Walsall. The factory is the heartbeat of the company and hand makes all handbags and leather goods for men and women using traditional and time honoured methods. Launer designs are crafted by skilled artisans and can take up to four weeks to produce. Each finished design is then packaged for shipping to customers and stores Internationally as well as the UK.

The brand was awarded the Royal Warrant in 1968 and saved from extinction in 1981 by Gerald Bodmer who has with his wife Sue Bodmer ensured the brand flourished. It now enjoys its greatest success with a global presence and prestige reputation. Launer is unique with a contemporary appeal built on a legacy of tradition and meticulous craftsmanship. Its signature bag is the Traviata with ‘twisted rope’ logo.

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