The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall to Undertake Engagements in Leicestershire

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall sign a young boy's plaster cast during their visit to Lincoln Farmers Market in Christchurch, on the seventh day of the royal visit to New Zealand, 2020


Tuesday 11th February 2020

Engagement 1

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall, together with The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will visit the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre Stanford Hall and meet patients and staff.

On arrival, Their Royal Highnesses will be welcomed by Captain Alison Hofman QARNNS, Commanding Officer of the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre (DMRC) and will be taken on a tour of the site.

The tour will include visiting some of the therapy areas and observing patients undertaking gym rehabilitation sessions. Their Royal Highnesses will also visit the Prosthetics workshop and hear from patients and staff about the range of multi-disciplinary clinical and therapy services available.

Their Royal Highnesses will then join a reception for staff and patients before unveiling a plaque to mark the visit.


The new Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre, known as ‘DMRC Stanford Hall’, is operated by the Ministry of Defence (MOD) and began admitting patients in October 2018. The Centre delivers in-patient and residential rehabilitation to serving members of the Armed Forces for complex musculoskeletal disorders and injuries, including complex trauma, rehabilitation following neurological injury or illness and in-patient care for joint and soft-tissue disease.

It also provides education, research and training in military rehabilitation, hosting both the Academic Department of Military Rehabilitation and the Joint School of Exercise Rehabilitation Instructors.

The DMRC currently provides services to a small group of veterans in the form of the Complex Prosthetic Assessment Clinic (CPAC), which is a joint MOD and NHS England commissioned outpatient clinic.

DMRC Stanford Hall is part of the overall Defence and National Rehabilitation Centre (DNRC) programme which includes both a Defence element and proposals for a National (NHS) facility on the same site, sharing knowledge, expertise and some specialist facilities with the Defence establishment to mutual advantage. The Duke of Cambridge, who was Patron of the DNRC appeal, attended the official handover of the newly built Defence centre to the nation in June 2018. The National facility is progressing through a business case process which could see the facility operating in 2023, subject to relevant approvals.

Engagement 2

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall will visit Leicester Market where they will meet stallholders and members of a local women’s charity. Their Royal Highnesses will then attend a performance by local schoolchildren to celebrate the diversity of the city and unveil a commemorative plaque in the new market square.

The Prince of Wales, Royal Founding Patron, The British Asian Trust, will then attend a reception to launch the Midlands Chapter of the charity at The City Rooms.

Their Royal Highnesses will tour the covered market, meeting stallholders exhibiting local produce.

Her Royal Highness will meet staff and service users from the Shama Women’s Centre who will be exhibiting their crochet work at the market.

Their Royal Highnesses will then meet stallholders inside the Food Hall before moving onto the new market square, where they will pause to view the statue of Alice Hawkins, a leading English suffragette among the boot and shoe machinists of Leicester.

Their Royal Highnesses will then meet some of the children taking part in a musical performance organised by the Sparks Arts for Children Festival.

His Royal Highness will then be invited to unveil a plaque to commemorate the naming of Green Dragon Square – the permanent new name for the new market square.

His Royal Highness will later attend a reception to launch the British Asian Trust’s Midlands Chapter. The Prince will meet supporters of the British Asian Trust from the area and community diaspora leaders from the British Asian Community.


Leicester Market:
Leicester Market operates 6 days per week, Monday – Saturday and has 150 stalls, 21 units and 1 Café. There has been a market on the present site for many centuries with the earliest document referring to a deed dating from 1298

Shama Women’s Centre:
Shama Women’s Centre was established in 1983 by a group of local women and its mission is to ‘empower women and girls to become more active educationally, economically and socially through a range of activities that develop their confidence, employability skills, health and well- being’. They provide a range of activities in a women’s only setting including a domestic abuse programme, bereavement counselling, business workshops and English language support.

Leicester Market Food Hall:
After the closure of the old food hall, this award-winning Food Hall opened in 2014 relocating 8 of the original traders from the old premises. The Hall offers a variety of food produce such as quality meat and poultry, artisan cheeses, cooked sliced meats, bacon and local pork pies as well as a wide selection of fish and seafood. The Food Hall was awarded Britain’s Best Food Market in 2015 from the National Association of British Markets and was the winner of the Best New Building from the Leicester Civic Society.

Green Dragon Square (the new market square):
The open-air market has been at the heart of the city’s commercial and social life for over 700 years with the legacy of trade continuing to this day. The square is named after the Green Dragon Inn, a medieval inn which stood on this site until the 1850s.

The Spark Arts for Children:
Spark Arts for Children is a charity based in Leicester for young people aged between 0 and 13 years old which runs the annual Sparks Arts for Children Festival. The Festival takes place each year over seven days in February; in schools, theatres, libraries and community venues across the city. The programme includes professional performances of dance, theatre and music in school and in venues, hands on workshops in the creative arts and free family drop in activities in city venues, community centres and libraries. Complementing these activities are the school music and poetry projects, giving pupils the opportunity to collaborate and perform with world class artists.

The Statue of Alice Hawkins:
Alice Hawkins was born in Stafford in 1863, but spent much of her life in Leicester, working as a shoe machinist. She was a key figure in the Leicestershire Women’s Suffrage Society and was arrested and imprisoned many times as a result of militant action she took in her fight for women’s rights. A statue of Alice Hawkins was unveiled in February 2018 to mark the centenary of the Representation of the People Act 1918, the act that gave all men and some women the right to vote. The 7-foot tall, 800-pound bronze statue was created by sculptor Sean Hedges-Quinn and was cast in a foundry in London. It stands on a 4-foot granite plinth and was erected near to the spot where Alice would have stood when she addressed the public on the topic of women’s suffrage. Alice died in Leicester in 1946 and is buried in Welford Road cemetery.

British Asian Trust:
The British Asian Trust was founded in 2007, by HRH The Prince of Wales and a group of British Asian business leaders, to tackle widespread poverty, inequality and injustice in South Asia. This reception will launch the British Asian Trust’s Midlands Chapter.

Engagement 3

The Duchess of Cornwall, President of Royal Voluntary Service, will visit Leicester General Hospital to take part in the Royal Voluntary Service’s “Big Trolley Push”.

On arrival Her Royal Highness will be welcomed by University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust Chairman, Karamjit Singh CBE. She will visit the Royal Voluntary Service shop where she will meet staff and volunteers. She will be accompanied by Elaine Page OBE, an ambassador of the Royal Voluntary Service and will join a trolley shop round with veteran volunteer John Thompson, meeting staff and patients on Ward 22.


The Royal Voluntary Service is one of Britain’s largest volunteering charities with nearly 20,000 volunteers supporting thousands of people each month in hospitals and in the community. The simple acts of kindness provided by the volunteers, whether popping in for tea and a chat, helping out with a lift to a GP or social appointment or running chair-based exercises on ward to prevent pyjama paralysis, help make communities stronger and relieve the pressure on overstretched public services.

Royal Voluntary Service has had a shop and trolley service at the Leicester General hospital since the mid-1970s. Over 75 volunteers support the two services, with eight volunteers taking out the trolley five days a week to 13 wards.

The service is all the more vital as NHS nurses recently identified two fifths of patients see no visitors at all during their stay in hospital which can have a detrimental effect on their health and speed of recovery.

About The Big Trolley Push:
The Royal Voluntary Service are launching a campaign to get more volunteers supporting the NHS, in particular by taking the trolley shop out on hospital wards. Trolley volunteers take trolleys loaded with reading materials, healthy refreshments, treats, toiletries and other essentials around hospital wards. They chat with patients, helping ease the anxiety and sometimes loneliness experienced during a hospital stay, particularly by older people.

Ward 22, Leicester General Hospital:
Ward 22 is a major surgical ward and cares for patients following surgery for bowel and biliary conditions. The Ward is overseen by Matron, Penny Franklin, who has worked for 35 years as a Nurse at Leicester’s Hospitals. The RVS trolley is one of the highlights of the day for patients. Staff and Nurses on the Ward are very appreciative of the commitment of the RVS volunteers and the support they give to patients.

Engagement 4 

The Prince of Wales will visit the Soane Britain Workshop, Britain’s last rattan workshop, to view a series of demonstrations from craftsmen and women.

His Royal Highness will be welcomed to the Soane Britain Workshop by Founder and Creative Director of Soane Britain, Mrs Lulu Lytle. The Prince will receive a tour of the workshop where he will be introduced to the rich history of weaving in Leicester.

He will tour the factory to view demonstrations from the craftsmen and women, including the technique of bending cane and rattan weaving to produce Rattan furniture.

His Royal Highness will then unveil a commemorative plaque to mark his visit.


In 2010, after 8 years working with Angraves, the last rattan workshop in England, Lulu Lytle, Founder and Creative Director of Soane Britain, received news that it was going into administration. She bought the site in 2011 and the team of two craftsmen working in the Leicestershire workshop now numbers 14, with 3 rattan furniture makers having a combined 130 years’ experience between them.

The Soane weavers make a wide variety of rattan designs, from sofas, chairs, tables and desks through to mirrors and lights.

For a brief film of the workshop please visit:

Engagement 5 

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall will visit The Cambridge Satchel Company where they will tour the workshop with founder, Julie Deane OBE.

Their Royal Highnesses will be welcomed to the factory by Julie Dean OBE, CEO and founder of The Cambridge Satchel Company.

Their Royal Highnesses will tour the factory floor meeting staff and viewing each stage of the production process. Whilst on the tour, His Royal Highness will emboss a piece of leather with The Prince’s Foundation logo using an antique embossing machine.

Their Royal Highnesses will then join a reception with staff where Her Royal Highness will be invited to cut a commemorate cake and His Royal Highness will unveil a commemorative plaque.


The Cambridge Satchel Company is the original satchel company founded in 2008 by Julie Deane OBE. Having invested just £600 initially, the company has become a worldwide phenomenon, committed to preserving British manufacturing.

The Cambridge Satchel Company bags are handmade at their factory in Syston, Leicestershire, and range from classic satchels with a twist to backpacks, handbags and small leather goods. Collaborations with international designers including Comme des Garçons, Inès de La Fressange and Vivienne Westwood have contributed to the brand becoming a heritage label known for their iconic IT bag, the satchel.

More recently, The Cambridge Satchel Company have created collections in support of The Prince’s Foundation, The Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust and The Royal Opera House and Harris Tweed.

The Cambridge Satchel Company are proud to be working with The Prince’s Foundation to create a collection of iconic satchels and other styles with 20 percent of the RRP of each bag sold being donated to help support the invaluable work of the Foundation. The Prince’s Foundation is a charity dedicated to achieving HRH The Prince of Wales’s ambition of creating harmonious communities through education, practice and places.

The collection will launch in all of The Cambridge Satchel Company stores and website from the end of February 2020.

To commemorate the Royal Visit to the Syston factory, HRH The Prince of Wales will be presented with a bespoke canvas and leather Gardening Bag and leather Highland Cow Key Charm. HRH The Duchess of Cornwall will be presented with a small Traveller Bag crafted in Harris Tweed and Brandy colour leather, The Doctors Bag in French Grey leather, and a special edition Bee Key Charm.

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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