The Royal Review: the Royal Family’s other engagements 14-20th May

Certain members of the Royal Family get less attention in their work than others, so we’re trying to redress that balance and bring you what The Earl and Countess of Wessex, The Duke of York, The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, Duke of Kent, and Princess Alexandra have bene up to this week.

The Duke of York

On the morning of 14th May, The Duke of York received members of the Royal highland Fusiliers of Canada as Colonel in Chief,

The Duke then received the President of the Republic of Panama for lunch.

The Duke of York meets the President of the Republic of Panama at Buckingham Palace (@TheDukeOfYork)

In the afternoon, the Duke hosted a Pitch@Palace alumni event at Buckingham Palace. One of the main panel discussions that took place was on the topic of entrepreneurs and start-ups working with the NHS and the broader healthcare sector.

Busy day at the palace for Prince Andrew

The day following, Tuesday 15th May, The Duke of York hosted a Regimental Council Meeting of the Grenadier Guards in his capacity as the Colonel Guard of the Regiment.

Prince Andrew then met and had lunch with Mr Cai Qi, Secretary of the Beijing Municipal Committee of the Communist Party of China Central Committee.

The Duke of York met with Mr Cai Qi (@TheDukeOfYork)

In the afternoon, The Duke of York attended a garden party at Buckingham Palace alongside Her Majesty The Queen and The Earl and Countess of Wessex.

The Duke of York talking to guests at the garden party (@TheDukeOfYork)

Duke of Edinburgh Garden Party for Duke of York

On 17th May, The Duke of York attended the president for young people receiving their Duke of Edinburgh Gold Awards at Buckingham Palace with The Earl and Countess of Wessex.

The Duke of York speaking with guests at the Duke of Edinburgh presentations (@TheDukeOfYork)

In the afternoon, The Queen’s second son visited Hambro parks Growth Investors; the firm backs and builds leading British technology companies with global ambition.

In the evening The Duke of York, attended the Royal Aero Club Awards in his capacity as President. the RAC co-ordinates, promotes and protests all forms of recreational and competitive air sport in the UK and represents air sport internationally. Andrew presented the FAI Yuri Gagarin Medal to astronaut Tim Peake.

The Duke of York with astronaut Tim Peake (@TheDukeOfYork)

Royal Wedding

The Duke of York attended the wedding of his nephew and godson, Prince Harry, to Ms Meghan Markle, alongside his daughters Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie.

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Regimental Remembrance Day memorial service for Prince Andrew

As Colonel of the Grenadier Guards, the Duke of York attended the Regimental Remembrance Day memorial service at the Guard’s Chapel, Wellington Barracks, and wreath laying ceremony on Horse Guards Parade, to commemorate those who have fallen.

Princess Eugenie awards children’s book prize

Princess Eugenie hosted the Oscar’s Book Prize 2018 at St James’s Palace on 15th May; this is the fifth year the Awards has taken place. Eugenie awarded the prize for best book for under 5’s to the author and illustrator of ‘There’s a Pig Up My Nose’.

Princess Eugenie presenting the Oscar’s Book Prize at St James’s Palace (@TheDukeOfYork)

The Earl of Wessex attends performance of Jane Eyre

On 15th May, The Earl of Wessex attended a ballet performance of Jane Eyre at Sadler’s Wells Theatre. Edward was there in his capacity as patron of the Northern Ballet; The Queen’s eldest son is known for his love of the arts, having been involved in theatre in his youth.

Prince Edward and Sophie also attended the first garden party of the year with The Duke of York and The Queen.

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Prince Edward continues the Real Tennis Tour 2018 at Petworth House

On Wednesday, The Earl continued his Real Tennis Tour at Petworth House; the tour is part of a programme to raise support for The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award. During his visit, Prince Edward played tennis on the stately home’s Real Tennis court; the tour will involve The Earl playing the ancient sport on every surviving court in the world.

Petworth House is a 17th-century stately home, which is managed by the National Trust. It is home to many pieces of art, including works by van Dyck and Blake. The Earl of Wessex also attended a dinner at Petworth House on Wednesday evening.

On the 16th May, The Queen’s youngest son also visited Woolmer Hill School in his capacity as trustee of The Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme (a position he has held since 1988). During his visit, Woolmer Hill’s students displayed the skills they have learnt by completing the Award; Edward himself is a Gold Award holder.

The Earl and Countess of Wessex hold reception for Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award winners

On Thursday, The Earl and Countess of Wessex hosted a reception at Buckingham Palace in honour of young people who have earned the Gold standard Duke of Edinburgh Award. It is thought that Edward will be given the title of ‘Duke of Edinburgh’ when Prince Charles is King; he and wife Sophie have been very involved in the award programme in recent years.

They were also accompanied by Edward’s older sister, The Princess Royal, who spoke to some of the 1,700 award winners about the programme and the skills they gained.

The Earl and Countess of Wessex, alongside Princess Anne, attend the DofE Gold Award presentation ceremony (Royal Family)

The three Royals took time to speak to the award winners invited to the palace, who have achieved skills in five distinct areas: volunteering; physical; skills; expeditions and residential. Alongside the young people in attendance, celebrity guests included singer Alexandra Burke, children’s authors Tom and Giovanna Fletcher and TV chefs Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood.

The Countess of Wessex speaks to guests during the Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award presentations (Royal Family)

Prince Edward hosted a reception at Buckingham Palace as UK Trustee of the Duke of Edinburgh Award (Royal Family)

Earlier that morning, The Countess of Wessex had a solo engagement, attending a performance by Tre Voci at St Mary’s Church Shaw, Newbury. Tre Voci included three of the UK’s top musicians: soprano Ruby Hughes, cellist Natalie Clein and pianist Julius Drake. The performance was held as part of Newbury’s Spring Festival, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year.

Earl of Wessex arrives in France to play more Real Tennis

On Sunday 20th, The Earl of Wessex arrived in France to continue his Real Tennis Tour. As of yet, we have no further details about Edward’s visit to the South of France.

Princess Anne in Devon

On Tuesday, The Princess Royal was in Devon for two engagements. Firstly she visited the Make Amends Justice Service as Patron of the Restorative Justice Council.

Princess Anne’s next engagement was at the University of Plymouth’s Derriford Research Facility – the new headquarters of its Institute of Translational and Stratified Medicine.

From brain tumours to vaccines, tissue regeneration to new cancer drugs, the state-of-the-art centre brings together all of the university’s lab-based research to focus on the development of new therapeutics, diagnostics, interventions and approaches to prevent, diagnose and treat diseases, enhance patient outcomes and improve global healthcare.

Anne was escorted on a tour of the facilities where she was introduced to some of the life-changing research taking place, before officially unveiling a plaque to commemorate the occasion in front of an invited audience.

Unveiling a plaque to officially open the facility, the Royal said: “My congratulations on the achievement of this facility, focused as it is on research, but with very close clinical associations. I suspect that it is also a huge encouragement to patients, who will feel more involved with research in the future, and their families.

“I hope you feel that this investment, what you see going on and the teams here are truly fulfilling the ambitions you all have for this facility, and the link with the hospital. I am sure there will be much more to come.”

She said: “We are honoured to welcome The Princess Royal to the Derriford Research Facility.

“This visit underlines the importance of medical research to the provision of leading health care for the people of Plymouth, the region and beyond. It marks an exciting milestone for the university in accelerating our world-leading research ever-closer to finding treatments, cures, and vaccines against some of the most significant health issues.

Professor Judith Petts CBE, vice-chancellor of the University of Plymouth, officially welcomed Her Royal Highness and accompanied her on the tour of the facilities.

She said: “Our students too, as the future of the health and medical workforce, will greatly benefit from working alongside world-leading researchers in a world class facility.”

Balmoral Show for Princess Anne

On Wednesday, Princess Anne made a surprise visit to the Balmoral Show, held at Lisburn in Northern Ireland. The biggest agricultural show in Ireland is celebrating its 150th anniversary in 2018.

After leaving an event in the Members Pavilion, the Princess spoke to exhibitors in the Rural and Business Crime Partnership stand.

Clare McVeigh of the crime and community safety branch of the Department of Justice, chatted to Princess Anne on her stand and said she was very interested in the overall trends in rural crime.

“Pleasantly, we were able to advise her that there is a downward trend but we still have to be mindful of the thefts out there in the rural and business communities and that is why the partnership works together to tackle them,” Clare said.

Anne also asked about dog thefts, something that is clearly close to her heart. “She was talking about a dog that she had given to someone that was then stolen from the front yard. She also asked if there is a problem with livestock thefts and we told her it features, but thankfully it’s on a downward trend,” Clare added.

Princess Anne also spent some time in the marquee of the show’s principal sponsor, Ulster Bank, where she visited the Six Nations trophy – lifted in March by Ireland’s Grand Slam-winning rugby players.

She also met with a range of entrepreneurs who are exhibiting courtesy of the bank, including some of its micro-business customers.

Princess Anne at Tank Museum 

On Friday, The Princess Royal visited the Tank Museum, Dorset, to open its Conservation in Action Project. The museum is in the fourth phase of a redevelopment project funded by £14m over the past 12 years from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

During her tour of a new workshop, the Royal viewed a restored Second World War Matilda II tank that has been named in her honour.

Opening the facility, Princess Anne praised the large educational element, and benefits for apprentices and and interns.

She congratulated all those involved – volunteers, staff, and those who contributed to making a success of the museum and raising its profile.

Outgoing chairman of trustees Peter Gilchrist CB said the day had been planned 20 years ago when it was decided to make Bovington home to “the best tank museum in the world”.

Opening the facility Princess Anne praised the large educational element, and benefits for apprentices and and interns.

She congratulated all those involved – volunteers, staff, and those who contributed to making a success of the museum and raising its profile.

Outgoing chairman of trustees Peter Gilchrist CB said the day had been planned 20 years ago when it was decided to make Bovington home to “the best tank museum in the world”.

The Duchess of Gloucester opens nursery at Springfield Primary School

On Tuesday 15th May, The Duchess of Gloucester was in Middlesex to open The Burrow, the new nursery at Springfield Primary School in Sunbury-on-Thames. During her visit, The Duchess spoke to staff and students from the school; Birgitte also planted a tree during the official opening ceremony.

The Duchess of Gloucester attends service at Westminster Abbey

On Wednesday, The Duchess of Gloucester was in attendance at Westminster Abbey in her role as patron of the Arts Society. The special service was held in commemoration of the Arts Society’s 50th anniversary, which is a network of more than 90,000 people across the world who try to support the arts, past, present and future.

Duke of Kent visits Commonwealth War Graves on the former Western Front

On Monday 14th May, The Duke of Kent visited the former ‘Western Front’ in France in his capacity as President of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC). The Queen’s cousin said: “As President of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, it has been my honour to visit war cemeteries and memorials across the globe.”

The Duke, also known as Prince Edward, paid a visit to Etaples Military, which is the largest of the CWGC cemeteries in France. Edward then travelled to St Etienne au Mont Communal Cemetery, where he had the chance to pay tribute to the Chinese Labour Corps and South African Native Labour Corps; 168 members of these corps are buried in the cemetery.

The Duke of Kent visited two CWGC cemeteries in France as President of the organisation (Royal Family)

The Duke of Kent (The Queen’s cousin) paid tribute to members of the Chinese and South African Labour Corps (Royal Family)

The Duke of Kent’s grandparents, King George V and Queen Mary, visited the same cemeteries in 1922, when the end of WW1 was still fresh. Edward reflected on this visit, saying: “These remarkable, but deeply moving reminders of the human tragedy that unfolded here a century ago are as important today as when my grandfather visited them in 1922. “

The Duke of Kent visits Dorset 

On Tuesday, The Duke of Kent was in Dorset for a day of engagements on behalf of his cousin, The Queen. Prince Edward visited the Royal National Lifeboat Institution’s (RNLI) All-Weather Lifeboat Centre in Poole; The Duke has been President of the organisation since 1969. The Duke arrived at the centre on a Shannon Class Lifeboat.

While in Dorset, The Duke of Kent also visited BOFA International to open the fume-extraction company’s new Corporate Headquarters and Centre of Excellence. The new state-of-the-art 12,000 sq ft premises will house BOFA International’s corporate services, such as customer support, HR and finance. Last year, the company won The Queen’s Award for Innovation and it is currently one of the fastest-growing businesses in Dorset.

The Duke of Kent spends the day in Bristol

On Thursday 17th May, The Duke was in Bristol for a creative industries tour, visiting Bottle Yard Studios, the Watershed and Colston Hall. Bottle Yard Studios are responsible for productions including Crystal Maze, Poldark and Broadchurch, while Colston Hall is the South West’s largest concert hall. The Watershed is a multi-arts venue which tries to promote creativity, particularly amongst Bristol’s young people.

The Duke of Kent is known for his love of music and the arts, and was treated to a performance by Victoria Park School’s Choir at Colston Hall. Prince Edward also praised the uniqueness of the Watershed, saying it was unlike any place he has ever visited; while there, the Duke met with members of Rife magazine, which encourages young people to make their voices heard.

Princess Alexandra attends preview of New Royal Academy of Arts

On Tuesday 15th, Princess Alexandra was in London to attend a preview of the New Royal Academy of Arts at Burlington Gardens. Alexandra was there in her role as Honorary Patron of The Royal Academy America; her cousin, The Queen is Patron of the Royal Academy of Arts and visited back in March to mark its 250th anniversary.

As well as previewing the new exhibition space, Princess Alexandra was also there for the opening of the Academy’s new Tacita Dean exhibit.

Princess Alexandra spends the day in Hereford

On Thursday, Princess Alexandra spent the day in the English city of Hereford. The Princess paid a visit to I & JL Brown Ltd, a company which manufactures bespoke furniture. The business is one of the country’s leading producers of furniture. During her visit, Alexandra was given the chance to view the company’s workshops and heard about the benefits of producing bespoke furtniture for the British economy.

The Princess also paid a visit to St Michael’s Hospice; however, we have no further details on this engagement.

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