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Princess Anne promotes women in space and engineering in Leicester

by Stephen Taylor

Princess Anne, The Princess Royal, has had another of her typically busy days on Wednesday, this time in Leicester, after a day in Birmingham earlier this week. During her visit to the city, the Royal opened the new emergency department at the Royal Infirmary, attended a science masterclass at the National Space Centre and opened a new livestock building at a 1,000 year old livestock market.

Princess Anne’s first stop of the day was to Leicester Royal Infirmary, where she unveiled a plaque to mark the official opening of a new emergency department. The £48 million project began in 2015 and received its first patients in April 2017.

Chairman Karamjit Singh CBE said: “We were delighted to welcome Her Royal Highness to the Leicester Royal Infirmary to officially open our emergency department.

“Staff gave Her Royal Highness a tour around our purpose-built department so she could see first-hand what we have done to create a better environment in which to care for our patients.

“As patron of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, The Princess Royal has an understanding of the challenges faced in delivering emergency care and we were pleased to show her how we have designed a building to help us tackle those challenges.”

The Princess Royal’s next visit was to the National Space Centre. On the eve of International Women’s Day, the visit
coincided with a women in science and engineering workshop and a women in space networking event at the centre.

Anne talked to students in the National Space Academy Science Lab, including Loughborough College student Abi Burton, about raising the profile of science and engineering among females.

Princess Anne is patron of the Women in Science and Engineering Campaign and according to the Loughborough College website, joined a master class where Abi was sharing her experience from the unique Space Engineering programme launched by Loughborough College, in association with the National Space Academy.

princess anne sees girls getting involved in science at the national space centre in leicester (royal family)

Abi, who studies A-levels in Physics and Maths as well as Engineering in a space context for her Loughborough College course, told BBC East Midlands Today: “I want to show that I can be as good as the boys.

“I can do something science-ey and I don’t have to do something that girls would typically do. I can be a powerful woman in science.”

Malika Andress, head of marketing at the National Space Centre, said: “It was fantastic to welcome Her Royal Highness to the National Space Centre.

“Ahead of International Women’s Day, The Princess Royal met with women working in the space industry, as well as students attending a special science masterclass. The Princess was fascinated by many of the items in our collection, the programmes and workshops we offer, as well as taking time in her tour to talk to some of the 600 plus school children at the centre during the day.

the princess royal learnt about women in space technologies during her visit (royal family)

“The Princess is patron of WISE (Women in Science and Engineering), so had a fantastic knowledge of the subject matter and seemed truly interested and engaged when talking many of the students and members of the UK Space Industry. The whole team at the Centre is honoured that she took time in her very busy schedule to visit us.”

The Queen’s daughter then headed to Melton Mowbray’s livestock market, where she opened the new livestock building, which cost £5.5 million to develop.

Melton Mowbray Market is the largest town centre Livestock Market in the country and has been in existence for 1,000 years, predating the Domesday Book. The main market has been held on a Tuesday since at least 1324, when it was granted a charter by King Edward II. As well as its normal weekly activities, the Market also hosts many other sales and festivals, including the only national Native and Traditional Breeds Show and Sale in September. The Livestock Market alone serves over 2,500 farming customers, with 350,000 visitors coming through the site annually.

The Princess Royal spent around an hour this afternoon touring the new building and meeting staff, farmers and local businesses who are making good use of the facility.

Guiding Princess Anne on the tour were Hugh Brown, CEO of market operator Gillstream Markets Ltd. and Leader of the Council Cllr Joe Orson.

She was then invited to unveil a special plaque to commemorate the event and the official opening of the new building.

Cllr Orson said “This visit from Her Royal Highness celebrates the collaborative work between the Council and the market operator, Gillstream Markets Ltd, in successfully bringing this expansion to the town’s landmark facility. As other markets are closing – we are growing. This new building is a significant step in securing our economic future and reputation as the Rural Capital of Food”

Hugh Brown said “The Princess Royal’s visit to the Market and opening of the new cattle building represents the culmination of a huge amount of work between the company, the Council, the building team and the many other stakeholders. The benefits it will bring to the borough, the Market and its farming customers, along with the wider communities we serve will be seen for many years to come.”

Princess Anne then returned to London where she attended a Court Dinner at Fishmongers’ Hall as Prime Warden of the Fishmongers’ Company.

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