The Royal Review: the Royal Family’s other engagements 11th – 17th June

Here’s what other members of the Royal Family have been up to this week, the stories that rarely make the press:

The Earl of Wessex

12th June:

On Tuesday, The Earl of Wessex was in Tamworth, Staffordshire, to attend the National Service of Commemoration for the 1,100th anniversary of the death of Aethelfaed, Lady of Mercians at St Editha’s Church. Aethelfaed ruled the region of Mercia (in the English Midlands) from 911 until her death in 918.

Edward was likely chosen to represent the Royal Family at the service as Aethelfaed was the eldest daughter of Alfred the Great, who was King of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Wessex; therefore, having the current Earl of Wessex at the service seems a sensible choice.

The commemoration service featured attendees dressed up in medieval garb; other invitees included the Danish ambassador and the Lord Lieutenant of Staffordshire. While she was not present, Prime Minister Theresa May wrote the introduction to the order of service. During the service, a new stained glass window – featuring the Lady of the Mercians – was dedicated.

Prince Edward read the second lesson at the service – The Revelation of St John the Divine – then attended a reception at Tamworth Castle, where he met some of those who had also been in attendance at the commemoration.

the new window commemorating Aethelfaed (Dr Sara Read)

English lecturer at Loughborough University, Dr Sara Read, said: “For me the highlight of the service was hearing readings by professor Judith Jesch and professor Jane Roberts in old English. The church was built just after her time and named after her niece and so it is wonderful to her their own language spoken on the spot they would have worshipped.”

The service was the first of a number of events to commemorate the life of Aethelflaed and there will be a festival in July in the local area, too.

In addition, The Queen’s youngest son visited the headquarters of the luxury motor yacht manufacturer, Sunseeker International. The company is based in Poole, Dorset; The Earl was invited on a tour of the premises and met members of staff. Sunseeker currently offer an award-winning apprenticeship programme; Edward was invited in his capacity as a Trustee for the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme.

The Earl of Wessex also attended a dinner at Brownsea Castle; we have no further information on this engagement.

13th June:

This week, The Earl continued his Real Tennis Tour as Chairman of the Board of Trustees, The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Foundation, with a visit to The Hyde Real Tennis Club in Waldith, Dorset. This is part of The Earl’s attempt to play the historic sport on every existing real tennis court in the world.

As part of the tour, Prince Edward also visited Canford School, Dorset, where he played three games of Real Tennis. The tour is designed to raise money which will allow more disadvantaged young people to take part in the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme. In Dorset, 3,235 young people participated in the programme last year; 11% of these participants were classed as being from a disadvantaged background.

In the evening, Edward hosted a fundraising dinner at the school, where various participants from the scheme spoke to outline the benefits of the Duke of Edinburgh Award.

15th June.

To finish off his week, The Earl and The Countess of Wessex  hosted a World Fellowship dinner at Windsor Castle. Edward hosted in his capacity as Chairman of the Board of Trustees, The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award, while the Countess was also there as a Global Ambassador of the Award Scheme.

Created by the Duke of Edinburgh, the fellowship is a global network of benevolent individuals, who believe in supporting the development of young people.The Anniversary dinner is an annual event and brings together members from 52 countries that support this worthy cause. We have no further details on Friday night’s event.

The Countess of Wessex


The Countess of Wessex travelled to Leeds on Monday for a full day of engagements. In her role as patron of Caring for Life, Sophie’s first stop was a visit to Crag House Farm. Serving as the headquarters for the Christian Charity, Caring for Life, the Farm provides impaired and vulnerable individuals with support, whether it be emotional or practical, as well as love and care.

Encompassing over 125 picturesque acres of agricultural land, Crag House farm offers 17 different therapeutic programs for the disadvantaged people of the community. The farm fosters a sense of safety for the vulnerable, which allows them to flourish and learn life skills. In turn, they become a part of a team that feels pride in their accomplishments and have purpose in their lives. For 30 years, Crag House Farm has been the home for the Caring for Life Charity.


the countess of wessex at leeds children’s hospital – thanks to paul ratcliffe

For her second event of the day, the Countess toured and opened the new research unit at Leeds Children’s Hospital. As patron of Leeds Children’s Hospital, the Countess unveiled a plaque to commemorate the occasion; the new unit will help to advance many areas of medical research for the children, thereby helping to improve their care.

This specialised facility was made possible thanks to the extreme generosity of Dr. Maurice and Asneth Benard. A cash donation by the Benard’s was made in memory of their grandson, Jeremy Neil Allen, to Leeds Cares (formerly known as Leeds Teaching Hospital’s Charitable Foundation).

Chief Executive of Leeds Cares, David Welch shared his sentiments on the Benard’s gift: ” We are enormously grateful for the charitable donation made by Dr. and Mrs. Benard, without whom this facility would not be possible. Their personal connection to this project is very moving and we are very proud to be a part of this. The impact that this facility will have is clear but we cannot make this difference to the world of research without the ongoing generosity of our donors.”

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Embed from Getty Images

While touring the facility, Sophie had the opportunity to visit with many of the patients and their families. A number of the patients participate in clinical research trials, which until recently had to be performed on the ward floors. With the new unit, it is hoped that the number of children able to participate will increase and that because of this, clinical outcomes will improve.

As well as this visit, the Countess met with the Leeds Hospital’s Youth Forum Group. The members of the forum are children who are being treated in the hospital. They provide each other with support and try to help one another deal with the different issues that they face in their lives. Sophie spent time with the kids in their special Place2Be .

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In the evening, The Countess of Wessex attended a charity reception and dinner at Harewood House, in her capacity as patron for the children’s hospital. Resplendent in a llama print silk shirt dress, Sophie shone in her element at the event to raise funds for Leeds Cares.

If you’d like to read more about royal fashion, and what Sophie wore on this day of events, head to our sister site, Replicate Royalty.

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Embed from Getty Images


A trip to Aldershot was on the agenda for The Countess of Wessex on Wednesday. In her role as patron of Stoll, Sophie visited to not only open the Centenary Lodge but also to meet some the residents that will be residing there. The new lodge consists of 34 brand new homes, that will help provide housing for veterans, in an area that has a serious lack of homes for former military personnel.

The CEO of Stoll, Ed Tytherleigh shared at the opening: “I’m delighted we’re opening the Centenary Lodge today to help tackle the shortage of housing in Aldershot for former soldiers and other members of the Armed Forces. We are working to ensure that anyone who serves their country has an appropriate place to live – a place to call home where they can rebuild their lives. We are very grateful to all our funders for making this special place possible.”

Centenary Lodge will not only be able to provide flats for military families but also for disabled veterans needing accessible flats. The veterans will pay a social rent and have additional services for support available to them. They will have access to skills training and can be a part of community activities. The beautifully landscaped gardens offer areas for communal therapy, while the veterans are able to live independently in their own homes.

Princess Anne

Monday 11th June:

On Monday, The Princess Royal visited The Three Ways School in Bath, Somerset to launch the Sixth British Nutrition Foundation (BNF) Healthy Eating Week for Schools.

This year, the BNF is celebrating the sixth birthday of its Healthy Eating Week. The week aims to increase knowledge about healthy eating and wellbeing, physical activity, food provenance and cooking, by providing schools and organisations with a series of challenges to complete throughout the week, supported by activities and informative resources.

Julie Dyer, Executive Headteacher at Three Ways School, said, “It was an honor to have HRH Princess Royal visiting the school. It was a lovely opportunity to show all our guests how we ensure healthy eating and wellbeing is part of everyday life at the school, and how we encourage all children to take part in growing, preparing and tasting food and teach them skills for a healthier life. It was also wonderful to celebrate 10 years of the school and how much creative, innovative and exciting work we have done in that time.”

Tuesday 12th June:

On Tuesday, Princess Anne attended a 50th reunion lunch at her former school, Benenden School, Cranbook, Kent. The Princess was a pupil at the school from 1963-1968 and left with six GCE O-Levels and two A-Levels.

The Princess Royal also opened a new 6th Form centre at the nearby Cranbrook school to mark its 500th anniversary. In a short speech after unveiling a plaque, the princess recalled her own school days – not far away at Benenden School – and said boys from Cranbrook had always been popular guests at Benenden!

Also on Tuesday, Princess Anne visited Enfield Youth Offending Unit as patron of the Restorative Justice Council. During her visit she officially presented officers with the Restorative Service Quality Mark.

Enfield Council’s leader, Cllr Nesil Caliskan, said: “I would like to congratulate the whole team which has shown its unwavering commitment to provide top-quality restorative practice in Enfield.

“We are pleased to welcome Her Royal Highness to Enfield.

“We will endeavour to continue delivering the highest-standards in restorative justice ensuring safer communities in the borough.”

Restorative justice brings those harmed by crime or conflict and those responsible for the harm into communication, helping everyone affected to find a positive way forward. The quality mark recognises the unit’s work to rehabilitate young offenders and help victims deal with the impact of crime.

Before the presentation, the Princess met with staff in Claverings Estate in Edmonton as well as one of the unit’s volunteers. She also met police officers and some young adults who have been through the restorative process.


On Wednesday, The Princess Royal attended the Townswomen’s Guilds Annual General Meeting in Brighton, as their patron.

The Townswomen’s Guilds is one of the largest women’s organisations in the UK, with around 600 Guilds and 24,000 members. Guild members usually meet at least once a month to enjoy each others company, develop friendships, to get involved with events and crafts, to try new things and to campaign on social issues.

Also on Wednesday, Anne attended a Summer Tea Party at Apothecaries’ Hall in London as Patron of Save the Children UK.

Friday 15th June:

Friday saw The Princess Royal in West Yorkshire, where she donned military uniform today to unveil a new work of art at Yorkshire Sculpture Park to celebrate the role of women in the First World War.

‘The Coffin Jump’ by contemporary artist Katrina Palmer, consists of a ‘blend of sculpture, soundtrack and performance’. The central aspect of the artwork is a horse obstacle featuring words such as ‘woman saves man’ and ‘woman rides out’.

‘The Coffin Jump’ is said to symbolise the ‘new challenges and freedoms afforded to women in the war’, with specific reference to the all-female First Aid Nursing Yeomanry.

The Queen’s daughter was attending the unveiling in her role as Commandant-in-Chief of the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry.

Founded in 1907, the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry is a voluntary organisation which deploys rapid response teams to support civil and military authorities in times of crisis. Anne became Commandant-in-chief in 1999 and the Corps is known as the Princess Royal’s Volunteer Corps.

The Duke and Duchess of Kent

The Duke of Kent started the week attending a Gala evening at Guildhall, London, in his capacity as patron of the London Philharmonic Orchestra. The Orchestra was founded by Sir Thomas Beecham in 1932, and since then has been headed by many of the great names in the conducting world, including Sir Adrian Boult and Sir Georg Solti.

On Tuesday, The Queen’s cousin visited Coburn Engineering, Langtons House and Sapphire Ice and Leisure Centre in Essex. The Duke met with staff of the respective companies and learnt of their work.

On Thursday, The Duke of Kent was joined by his wife, The Duchess of Kent, 85, to attend a service at the base of Grenfell Tower on the one year anniversary of the fire which destroyed the building and killed more than 70. Buckingham Palace revealed that The Duchess of Kent has returned to teaching at a school close to the tower. She goes by the name ‘Mrs Kent’.

The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester

On Monday 11th June, The Duke of Gloucester attended a Summer Garden Party at the Orangery, Kew Gardens. He attended in his capacity as joint patron of Thames Landscape Strategy.

On Wednesday, the Duke visited Claycots School in Slough and Kerith Community Church in Bracknell, Berkshire. He met staff and students at the school before meeting members of the clergy and congregation at the Community Church. The Duke seemed interested in talking to a wide variety of people throughout the day.

On Thursday (14th), Prince Richard was joined by his wife, The Duchess of Gloucester, to attend the St George’s House Annual Lecture in St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle. The couple were also accompanied by Princess Alexandra. The 2018 lecture was titled, ‘Britain and America: The Lessons of History’, and was delivered by former Ambassador to the US, Sir Christopher Meyer KCMG.

The Duke also visited the charity ‘Christians against Poverty’, where he met staff and volunteers at the debt counselling centre and a local food-bank.

To conclude the week, The Duke of Gloucester – as patron of the Heritage of London Trust – attended a Lecture entitled, ‘2000 Years of History: The World’s Cultural Capital’, followed by a luncheon at Burlington House in London.

Princess Alexandra

On Wednesday 13th June, Princess Alexandra visited Katharine House Hospice in Stafford, where she met with staff and patients, before opening the Dorothy Terry House in Worcestershire.

The Princess travelled by helicopter and she landed in the fields of Redditch United. Jacintha Hodgson, managing director of Redditch United, said: “We are delighted that Princess Alexandra has used the club today and we have been able to provide hospitality to her and her entourage.

“It is lovely to see her visit Redditch and it is an honour for the town. We are happy to have played our part.”

The Princess, who is The Queen’s first cousin, is passionate about mental health and palliative care and is patron or president of over 100 organisations, including joint-president of Cancer Research UK, and patron of St. Christopher’s Hospice, Queen Alexandra’s Royal Naval Nursing Service, MIND and the Mental Health Foundation.

A visit to the Royal Star and Garter Home in Solihull was also on the agenda.

princess alexandra (royal family)

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