Prince Edward and Sophie see Coronation preparations in Wolverhampton

Communities were coming together to mark the historic event

The Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh visited Wolverhampton yesterday, where they saw how local communities were preparing for the Coronation.

The Duke and Duchess were on hand for the celebrations as Karen Trainer was given her MBE. (Royal Family)

The first stop for the Duke and Duchess was at the Big Venture Community Centre. The couple met volunteers and clients of the centre, after being greeted by local schoolchildren.

Edward and Sophie got stuck in and helped in the WV10 Budget Cooking Programme, with the Duchess donning an apron and helped to make a chicken-based dish, and the Duke turning his hand to mini banoffee pies. They heard how the programme sees chefs teach clients how to cook nutritionally healthy food.

Karen Trainer MBE, Manager at Big Venture Centre, said: ‘We can see the difference we are making to people’s lives every day and it was a great honour to show The Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh what we do on the ground.

‘They were very interested in the mix of services we provide and the fact they are all delivered by locals, who are volunteering their time to support the community in which they live. We showed them the shops and, importantly, they had the opportunity to meet a couple of individuals who take part in our cooking classes and have benefitted from our WV10 Cookbook.’

Karen was honoured with an MBE in The Queen’s birthday honours list of 2022 but was unable to go to London to collect her award. However, with the help of Edward and Sophie, the community arranged a surprise presentation for Karen.

Sophie was cheered on by schoolchildren throughout the visit. (Royal Family)

The Duke of Edinburgh is not usually part of the family rota for handing out honours – this is led by The King, supported by The Prince of Wales and Princess Anne. Perhaps this is the first of many to come…

Next, Edward and Sophie visited Beatsabar, which offers activities to young people and hosts a variety of music-based workshops for all age groups and abilities.

The Duke and Duchess met young people from Braybrook and Midpoint Pupil Referral Unit, who are working on music and songs about their real life situation, alongside music that is being written about the Coronation of The King and Queen.

The Duke heard about activities of the cadets during a visit to one of his Patronages. (Royal Family)

The third engagement was to one of the Duke’s Patronages: Royal School Wolverhampton. Its first royal Patron was Queen Victoria in 1891; Prince Edward has been Patron since 2002.

Their Royal Highnesses met students and staff and hear a performance by the Primary School Choir. The Duke met members of the the combined cadet forces, police and nursing cadets, whilst the Duchess met early years and primary school children who were creating bunting and art projects about the Coronation.

Sophie saw a range of Coronation crafts being carried out ahead of the historic weekend. (Royal Family)

The couple’s final engagement was to the City of Wolverhampton College, where they attended a Coronation Big Lunch. The Duke and Duchess viewed students’ work before joining them for lunch, alongside guests from the local community.

This Bank Holiday weekend, the couple will attend another Big Lunch in Cranleigh, near Guildford.

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