The following guests will attend Prince George’s Christening today at the Chapel Royal, St James’s Palace:
Prince George’s Godparents and their spouses
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have asked the following people to be Godparents to Prince George:
Prince George will wear the hand made replica of the Royal Christening Robe, made by Angela Kelly, Dressmaker to The Queen.
The Lily Font and water from the River Jordan will be used during the baptism.
Following the service, The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall will give a private tea in Clarence House. Guests will be served slices of christening cake, which is a tier taken from The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding cake.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have chosen two hymns, two lessons and two anthems for the christening of their son, Prince George.
The Hymns are Breathe on Me, Breath of God and Be Thou My Vision.
The lessons are from St. Luke ch. 18, verses 15-17, read by Miss Pippa Middleton and St. John ch. 15, verses 1-5, read by Prince Harry.
The anthems are Blessed Jesu! Here we Stand (Richard Popplewell) and The Lord Bless You and Keep You (John Rutter).
Blessed Jesu! Here we Stand was written for Prince William’s baptism on 4th August 1982.
The anthems will be performed by The Choir of Her Majesty’s Chapel Royal.
The Processional Organ Music will be J. S. Bach’s Fantasia in G (BWV 572).
The Recessional Organ Music will be C. M. Widor’s Toccata from Symphony No 5.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend Justin Welby, will baptise Prince George. He will be supported by The Dean of The Chapel Royal (The Right Reverend and Right Honourable Richard Chartres) and The Sub-Dean of the Chapel Royal (The Reverend Prebendary William Scott).
The Duke of Cambridge has been given the highest honour in Scotland after being installed as a Knight of the Thistle at a service in Edinburgh.
The event at the city’s St Giles’ Cathedral was attended by The Queen, accompanied by The Duke of Edinburgh, the Princess Royal, The Duchess of Cambridge and hundreds of invited guests.
Thousands of people crowded on to the Royal Mile to catch a glimpse of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge - known as the Earl and Countess of Strathearn while in Scotland - and other members of the Royal Family as they made their way from the Signet Library, across Parliament Square and into the cathedral.
The Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle is Scotland’s highest honour and is second in precedence to the Garter.
Its origins are uncertain, but its legendary status was recognised when it was revived in 1687 by James II (James VII of Scotland).
The Prince of Wales is also among current royal Knights and Ladies of the Thistle and was installed in 1977.
The Princess Royal was installed in the Order of the Thistle in June 2001.
The Royal Family entered the cathedral shortly before 11am to a fanfare, accompanied by other members of the Order, all wearing ceremonial gowns.
Meanwhile, The Duchess of Cambridge, wearing a pale yellow coat and hat, took her place in the audience.
The installation ceremony was conducted by the Dean of the Thistle, Rev. Gilleasbuig Macmillan.
The short ceremony took place within the internal Thistle Chapel and was broadcast through speakers to those in the cathedral.
The Queen said: “It is our pleasure that His Royal Highness The Prince William, Earl of Strathearn, be installed a Knight of the most ancient and most noble Order of the Thistle.”
Young people are showing their commitment to their communities by taking part in 24-hour-challenges – which include transforming derelict landscapes and refurbishing community centres – with the hope their efforts will be recognised in a new national award programme.
The SkillForce Prince’s Award – launched by SkillForce in conjunction with the charity’s Royal Patron, HRH The Duke of Cambridge – will reward young people for an outstanding contribution to a community or cause, giving of their own time to make a difference to others. To be considered for the coveted award, young people must first complete SkillForce’s ‘24 Hours to Make a Difference’ challenge, in which they will work together to plan and implement a programme that will make a significant contribution to their community.
The most outstanding participants in the challenge will be selected to receive The SkillForce Prince’s Award – which includes a trophy and a significant investment or experience that will further their personal, professional or educational development – and every participant will receive a SkillForce certificate, as well as a recognised national certificate in community volunteering. Judging of all the challenges will take place this summer, with winners of the award announced in the autumn.
In a message of support to the charity, The Duke of Cambridge said:
“I am immensely proud to put my name to the SkillForce Prince’s Award. It rewards young people who have made an outstanding contribution to their community, encouraging them to go further to nurture their personal, professional or educational development. I would like to personally thank all those who took part in this inaugural phase of the award and I hope many young people will be inspired to take part in the future.”
Four challenges will be taking place across England this weekend with two schools in Scotland having already completed the challenge. The SkillForce Prince’s Award builds on the existing work of SkillForce locally. SkillForce is an educational charity that works in partnership with more than 150 schools in England and Scotland to help young people realise their individual potential and academic ability. It makes a profound difference to their lives – tackling exclusions, increasing academic performance and boosting confidence amongst the pupils it works with.
The SkillForce Prince’s Award is initially open to students graduating from the SkillForce Community, Character and Contribution curriculum. The ‘24 Hours to Make a Difference’ challenge will reinforce the knowledge and skills gained in this curriculum. It is planned the award will eventually be open to any young person that can demonstrate an understanding of the community in which they live and are willing to give up 24 hours of their time for a charitable cause.
Peter Cross, CEO, SkillForce, said: “The SkillForce Prince’s Award recognises young people for an outstanding contribution to a community or cause, giving of their own time to make a difference to others. By taking part in the ‘24-hours to Make a Difference’ challenge, young people are offered an opportunity to win this award whilst becoming an active and valued member of the community in which they live, demonstrating and developing the character and skills that will help them in the future.”
The Duke of Cambridge has qualified as an operational captain within the Royal Air Force Search and Rescue Force.
Flight Lieutenant Wales, as he is known in the military, will now command Search and Rescue operations in RAF Sea King helicopters. Until now, Flight Lieutenant Wales has only co-piloted the aircraft.
The operational captaincy check involved ground and air based practical tests, spread over a two day period. The tests were a culmination of almost two years of flying experience and study for The Duke of Cambridge since joining C Flight, 22 Squadron at RAF Valley in Anglesey in September 2010.
Officer Commanding 22 Squadron, Wing Commander Mark Dunlop said:
“Flt Lt Wales demonstrated the required standards needed for the award of Operation Captaincy. Due to the nature of search and rescue operations, the required standards are always set at a very high level. Operational Captaincy carries the overarching responsibility for the safety of the aircraft, its crew and any casualties.”
The Duke of Cambridge has accepted an invitation to become Patron of the Welsh Rugby Charitable Trust which supports severely injured players from Wales.
He will fulfil the new role alongside his existing link with the sport as Vice Patron of the Welsh Rugby Union.
The Trust supports seriously injured Welsh rugby players who are all confined to wheelchairs after suffering spinal injuries in games. It was set up in 1972 and is the declared priority for charitable assistance from within the Welsh Rugby Union. The charity currently supports 20 seriously injured players and also gives financial help to players who have not suffered permanent disability.
The WRCT and the WRU have acknowledged The Duke’s acceptance of the invitation as a major boost for the fundraising activities of the charity. Since it was formed the WRCT has distributed more than £2m to the care of injured players and the establishment of a support network to help improve their quality of life.
The President of the WRU, Dennis Gethin, who chairs the WRCT, said: “I am delighted The Duke of Cambridge has agreed to become Patron of this charity which does vitally important work for some truly deserving individuals. I know His Royal Highness carries out an enormous amount of work for charitable causes so I am very pleased he has found the time to commit to our endeavours.
“We could not wish for a better figurehead and his involvement has extra significance given his very public support for Welsh rugby in general. He is always a welcome guest at the Millennium Stadium and has met and spoken with the injured players who are involved closely with the WRCT.
“I am proud to chair the WRCT and I know that this announcement will help galvanise support for the excellent work being carried out by the charity.”
The Trust is managed by ten trustees who give freely of their services and is supported by the WRU in its fundraising activities. Rugby supporters are regularly asked to contribute to the WRCT by bucket collectors at the Millennium Stadium during rugby matches.
The WRU makes an annual contribution to the WRCT as does the Millennium Stadium Charitable Trust.
Crowds cheered and waved flags as The Duchess of Cambridge arrived for a Valentine’s Day visit to Liverpool today.
First, Her Royal Highness visited a charity that helps addicts recover from drink and drug dependency. The Duchess became Patron of Action on Addiction in January.
The Duchess, making her debut solo regional visit, smiled at the dozens of people who had gathered at The Brink, a dry bar run by the Action on Addiction charity.
The Duke of Cambridge is on a six-week posting in the Falkland Islands as part of his role as an RAF search and rescue pilot.
The Duchess was serenaded by the resident choir at The Brink - made up of recovering addicts called the Raucous Caucus Recovery Chorus - singing a traditional native American Indian song titled, Wings Of A Dove.
Michael Edwards, 32, from Kensington, Liverpool, and a member of the choir, said: “It’s a song about hope and happiness.
"I got involved in the choir because I’m in recovery from drugs and alcohol.
"Doing this, it’s built my confidence, it’s risen up. I didn’t have any before.
"It’s a bit scary with a royal audience but this is what the choir has done for me, to give me the confidence to sing in front of people. Everybody has been excited here for weeks because of the royal visit, that something this good is happening here."
Her Royal Highness was shown behind the bar at The Brink, where Paula Carey, 37, from Dovecote, Liverpool, served her a smoothie, named The Duchess in her honour.
Miss Carey mixed the almonds, skimmed milk, drop of honey, banana and a dash of cream in a blender, before presenting the drink in a cocktail glass with a slice of Orange to the Duchess.
The Duchess took a sip of the drink and with a nod of approval said: “Amazing, well done.”
Miss Carey added: “She said it was delicious. I didn’t think she would drink it.
"She was asking me how long I had worked here and if I was enjoying it.
"She made me feel relaxed and at ease because I was really nervous before."
Before The Brink choir sang for The Duchess, she heard a personal story from one of the people the centre has helped.
Rachael Lyons, 36, from Toxteth, Liverpool, took to the stage to “showcase” the work being done at the centre.
The mother of two said: “This time last year I was at the worst of my alcoholism. Agencies had been called in with my children because I was not being the parent I should have been.
"I was in the depths of despair, my life was chaotic."
Miss Lyons said she then got help for her problems and will have been sober and off alcohol for 11 months on the 18th of this month.
"I didn’t know I had a choice, that’s how it was. I’m the parent I should be now, which is amazing.
"I’m now volunteering for The Brink and hoping to give something back to people in my situation.
"It’s just a fabulous place to be, I’m in a really good place in my life now."
After her speech, which was greeted with applause and cheering, Miss Lyons added: “It just felt wonderful our future queen was sitting in front of me - she seemed really interested in what I had to say.
"Never in a million years did I think this would happen to me, it’s amazing. And it’s amazing what she’s doing with Action on Addiction because this saves lives."
Hundreds of flag-waving fans gathered at Alder Hey well ahead of The Duchess’s arrival this afternoon.
Among the crowds was nine-year-old Ivan Layland, who has been a patient at the hospital for most of his young life.
The youngster, who has the condition irreversible bowel syndrome, met The Duke of Cambridge when he opened an MRI facility in February 2010.
Today, Ivan, who underwent a bowel transplant last year, was anxious to meet The Duchess.
Waving a flag he said: “I remember meeting William was very exciting and he was very tall.
"It’s good that they come here because the doctors and nurses work very hard to make everyone feel better."
Ivan’s carer, Darrell Prescott, 57, from St Helens, said: “Ivan talked about meeting Prince William for weeks afterwards so when we heard The Duchess was coming he was very excited all over again.
"Alder Hey is a wonderful hospital and it’s magic to be here today and see so many people smiling and waving flags."
Jacquie Johnston-Lyons, head of service at Action on Addiction in Liverpool, thanked The Duchess for her support of the charity and her visit to the city.
"Thank you so much, your Royal Highness, for being here today," she said.
"This is just such an incredible honour. Anything that can put recovery on the map is 100 per cent amazing.
"What we are trying to do is save people’s lives. Recovery is available for everybody, it’s not just an option."
Before The Duchess left for the next royal engagement in Liverpool, she was presented with flowers, cake and a St Valentine’s Day card by Jaqson Johnston-Lynch, as his mother Jacquie thanked The Duchess for the visit.
Jaqson told The Duchess he was sorry her husband could not be there for St Valentine’s Day.
Mrs Johnston-Lynch said The Duchess replied: “Do you know where he is, Jaqson?
"He’s in the Falklands but he’s sent me a card this morning."
Mrs Johnston-Lynch added that The Duchess said she received flowers as well as the card from her husband.
The Duchess left The Brink for her next engagement at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital.
The Duchess arrived at Alder Hey to loud cheers and applause from hundreds of well-wishers.
She gave a smile and a wave as shouts of “Kate” were heard from the crowd.
Her first stop was Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC), an independent charity which aims to provide free “home away from home” accommodation at hospitals across the UK, enabling families to stay close to their child and maintain a degree of normal family life.
The Duchess was met by director Jan Harris and introduced to various VIPs, including the leader of Liverpool City Council, Joe Anderson, and RMHC president Lady Stoddart.
She also met trustee Sylvia Lewis, who thanked her for visiting.
"It’s a fantastic place," The Duchess replied.
Her Royal Highness was then introduced to families who use the centre on a long-term basis.
She was met by 10-year-old Ethan Harris, who presented her with a Valentine’s Day card he had made himself.
The card, on red paper with painted spots, included on the front a picture of his brother, Carson Hartley, cut into a heart shape.
Inside, Ethan had written The Duchess a poem which read: “You’re smiley like the sun, you’re bright like a star, you’re light when it’s dark and I love your spark.”
A delighted Duchess said: “Thank you, that’s lovely.”
Ethan’s family have used the RMHC since Carson, who will celebrate his second birthday on Sunday, was born premature.
Carson has complex medical needs resulting from a heart problem.
Their mother, Kirsty Harris, 32, from Accrington, Lancashire, said: “Ethan has been up since 5am this morning, he’s been so excited.
"It was his own idea to make the card and write the poem. I couldn’t believe it when I saw all the effort he went to.
"This is a day he will remember for the rest of his life."
The Duchess also met Emily Welch, seven, who was somewhat star-struck when The Duchess said hello.
Worried-looking Emily turned to her mother, and Mrs Harris told the little girl: “The Duchess doesn’t bite.”
The Duchess laughed and said told Emily she had “lovely, cute eyes”.
Mrs Harris then gave a formal welcome to The Duchess and said: “Years ago the families of children in hospital were encouraged to stay away.
"Wonderfully, times have changed and we now know children make a better recovery when their families are nearby.
"We know some families will never take their children home but being here for the last few weeks and days makes the world of difference.
"We’re very proud of the work we do here and we’re very proud to welcome you here today."
Ethan then helped The Duchess unveil a plaque commemorating her visit, with The Duchess telling him: “Your name should be on this too.”
The visit marks the opening of new flats at RMHC.
The Duchess of Cambridge has accepted the following honorary positions:
• Patron of Action on Addiction
• Royal Patron of East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices
• Royal Patron of The Art Room
• Patron of the National Portrait Gallery, London
In addition, The Duchess of Cambridge is to become a volunteer in the Scout Association, volunteering time privately with groups in north Wales and elsewhere as opportunity arises.
The Duchess’s first Patronages and her volunteer position reflect Her Royal Highness’s personal interests in the arts, the promotion of outdoor activity, and supporting people who are in need of all ages, especially young children.
The Duchess’s new roles reflect Her Royal Highness’s wish to support the Royal Family’s work in highlighting important causes in the charitable and voluntary sector and the arts. The Duchess has chosen to support organisations that complement the charitable work already undertaken by her husband.
Each of the organisations chosen plays a leading role in its sphere either nationally or in local communities.
Background on the organisations:
Action on Addiction works to free people from addiction, support their families, and educate professionals in the addictions field. The charity has treatment centres throughout England, a specialist family service, an innovative research programme and an expert training centre. The charity has centres in Dorset, London, Merseyside and Wiltshire, but operates nationally.
East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) supports families and cares for children and young people with life-threatening conditions across Cambridgeshire, Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk. The charity provides care and support wherever the family wishes – in families’ own homes, in the community or at one of their hospices – with the challenges that having a life-threatening condition can often bring. The range of support includes short break care, specialist play activities, music therapy, hydrotherapy, parent groups and siblings groups, care at the end of life and bereavement support for all family members.
The Art Room works with children to increase their self-esteem, self-confidence and independence through art. Many of the children are disengaged from mainstream education, disruptive or withdrawn and all have been identified as needing time away from their school. The charity’s emphasis is on teaching life skills while encouraging children and young people to both relate and engage with each other. The Art Room employs senior practitioners who are trained in psychotherapy, art, teaching and social work. The charity currently works in Oxford and in north London.
The National Portrait Gallery holds the most extensive collection of portraits in the world. The Collection is displayed in London and in a number of locations around the United Kingdom. Artists range from Holbein to Hockney, and the Collection includes work across all media, from painting and sculpture to photography and video. As well as the permanent displays, the Gallery has a diverse and ever-changing programme of exhibitions and events which promote an appreciation of portraiture in all forms, and an energetic learning and outreach programme.
The Scout Association provides adventurous activities and personal development opportunities for over 400,000 young men and young women throughout the United Kingdom. The Movement helps young people reach their full potential and develop as active citizens in their community. Beaver Scout Colonies and Cub Scout Packs cater for all young people between six and ten years old. Scouts, Explorer Scouts and members of the Scout Network are aged 11 to 25. Scouting is the largest co-education youth organisation in the world with over 31 million members. The Duchess will join nearly 100,000 volunteers in the UK who give their time to support young people in their communities. In the UK, The Queen is Patron of the Scout Association and The Duke of Kent is its President.
Notes to Editors:
• The Duchess of Cambridge began her private research into charitable causes in September 2011. The private programme undertaken by The Duchess consisted of meetings at St. James’s Palace and private visits to a number of sites. In addition, The Duchess personally considered all requests for Patronage that were sent to her.
• The Duchess will, over the coming months, undertake both private and public visits across the United Kingdom to the organisations of which she is Patron and Royal Patron.
• The Duchess will volunteer primarily with the younger Members of the Scout Movement – Beaver Scouts and Cub Scouts – in the vicinity of her and The Duke’s home in north Wales and elsewhere as opportunity arises. Her Royal Highness will become what is formally termed an Occasional Helper in the Scout Association. The role is open to anyone who is interested in helping one or several groups at a frequency that suits the volunteer. Commitment can vary from helping a handful of times a year to most weeks, and is often fulfilled by relatives of children involved in the Movement or interested members of the local community. The Duchess’s personal commitment will be in accordance with her other duties and obligations.
• All the organisations above will formally be invited to join The Princes’ Charities Forum, an initiative started by The Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry in 2006 to bring together their charitable interests. The Forum will consist of 32 organisations once the organisations affiliated to The Duchess are included. More information about the Forum can be found at www.dukeandduchessofcambridge.org
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry become official Team GB and Paralympics GB 2012 Ambassadors in the lead up to, and during, the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Their Royal Highnesses will join a group of 27 of Britain’s most inspirational and accomplished Olympians from previous Games who were unveiled as 2012 Ambassadors by the British Olympic Association earlier this year.
As Ambassadors for Team GB and Paralympics GB, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry will play a leading role in encouraging and inspiring the British public to rally behind the more than 900 Olympic and Paralympic athletes, who will compete for Great Britain and Northern Ireland at the London 2012 Games. Their Royal Highnesses will also use their roles to promote the importance of participation in Olympic and Paralympic sport and encourage greater awareness of the Olympic and Paralympic values.
The Duke and Duchess and Prince Harry have begun their Ambassadorial role with a message of support for the Team GB Ambition Programme, also announced today. The British Olympic Association’s Ambition programme is designed to develop athletes’ medal success at future Olympic Games by offering aspiring young athletes and coaches a unique, first-hand understanding of the Olympic environment during London 2012.
In his message of support, The Duke of Cambridge said:
“Catherine, Harry and I are honoured to be Ambassadors for Team GB and Paralympics GB. London hosting the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games will inspire so many people – particularly the young – to be the best they can be. We are hugely looking forward to this incredible sporting competition, but are also looking beyond next summer’s Games to the springboard it will provide for future success and excellence. The athletes and coaches taking part in the Team GB Ambition Programme are part of that future success – potential medal winners and sources of inspiration to come. We hope they enjoy the experience of London 2012 to the full, and learn from it how to become successful British Olympians of the future.”
Andy Hunt, CEO of the British Olympic Association and Team GB Chef de Mission for London 2012 said:
“As we come to the end of 2011, the excitement is building towards the Olympic and Paralympic Games next year. Our Team GB athletes and all those who support them have worked a lifetime for the opportunity to represent their country in front of a home crowd at the Olympic Games. Their achievements will inspire us all and we hope the values by which the Olympic Movement was founded; excellence, respect and friendship; will resonate in some way with everyone who watches the Games next year. We are delighted Their Royal Highnesses as Team GB Ambassadors will be a part of trying to make that vision a reality. It is a great motivation for Team GB that The Duke and Duchess and Prince Harry are supporting their efforts next year and we hope together we can ensure that the whole of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is behind our athletes in their quest for Olympic success.”
Tim Hollingsworth, CEO of the British Paralympic Association said:
“The Paralympic Games are coming home in 2012 and we want to use this opportunity to raise the profile of Paralympic sport in this country and ensure that the nation takes British Paralympians to their hearts. We’re sure that the presence of Their Royal Highnesses will help us achieve this goal and it will give the athletes a tremendous lift to know that they are going to be supporting them.”
- Clarence House Press Release - 12/1/11
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are to make Kensington Palace their permanent London residence from mid- to late-2013. The Duke and Duchess will occupy an apartment last lived in by the late Princess Margaret. The Duke and Duchess are currently using another, smaller property at Kensington Palace as a temporary London residence.
The apartment into which they are moving is currently managed by the charity Historic Royal Palaces and is used for a number of purposes, including offices, classrooms and storage. A public exhibition in part of the apartment organised by Historic Royal Palaces is due to end in September 2012, at which point the apartment will be handed back to the Royal Household for structural works. The extent of the work needed to turn the apartment back into a home is not yet known, but it is expected that the apartment will not be ready for occupation until at least the middle of 2013.
It is anticipated that Prince Harry will move into the residence currently occupied by The Duke and Duchess at Kensington Palace once they vacate it to move to their new apartment.
The Household Office of TRH The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and HRH Prince Henry of Wales will move from its current offices at St. James’s Palace to offices at Kensington Palace in mid-2012. The move will enable office staff to be closer to The Duke and Duchess and, eventually, Prince Harry if he also moves to Kensington Palace. The Household will continue to share certain functions with the Household of TRH The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall.
The planned moves have been approved by The Queen and The Prince of Wales.
Notes to Editors
· Any building costs associated with turning the apartment back into living accommodation will fall to existing Grant-in-Aid budgets provided to the Royal Household for Royal residences for 2011-12 and 2012-13, and to the Sovereign Support Grant (which will replace the Grant-in-Aid) from 2013. The cost of interior decorating and furnishing beyond re-plastering and basic painting or wall-covering falls to the Royal Family privately.
· Currently, the apartment is uninhabitable by anyone without structural works being carried out. The extent of the building work required to make the apartment inhabitable is not yet known, but early indications suggest that large quantities of asbestos will have to be removed, as well as work on the heating and hot water systems and electrical wiring. The last major works in the apartment took place around the time that Princess Margaret and Lord Snowdon moved into the apartment following their marriage in 1960.
· Since Princess Margaret’s death, the apartment has not been used as a home and has been occupied by Historic Royal Palaces for a range of purposes.
· The Royal Household and Historic Royal Palaces have worked together to facilitate the planned changes at Kensington Palace. Historic Royal Palaces, which manages Kensington Palace (and other sites) as visitor and educational attractions, have been offered new accommodation at Kensington Palace for their offices, storage and other needs.
· Kensington Palace was the primary London Residence of The Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry from their births until 1998. The Palace has been a Royal residence since 1689, when King William III and Queen Mary II purchased Nottingham House, which was subsequently re-modelled by Christopher Wren into Kensington Palace.
- Clarence House Press Release - 11/06/11
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will visit Copenhagen on 2nd November 2011, to see first-hand the work of the Emergency Distribution effort in support of the East Africa crisis.
Their Royal Highnesses are keen to highlight the crisis in East Africa, an area very dear to them both, where currently 13 million people are desperate for urgent action to be taken.
Experiencing one of the worst droughts in decades, hundreds of thousands of children in the region are in critical need of medical supplies and nutritional help.
Having been deeply moved by the desperate plight of so many seriously ill children, Their Royal Highnesses made the decision to visit Copenhagen where the supplies are being distributed to the famine zones.
A new global appeal by UNICEF, www.eastafricacrisis.org has been launched to support the work of the charity in the region.
UNICEF’s Supply Centre has a warehouse within it the size of three football pitches. It sources, packs and distributes essential supplies for children around the globe, including food, water, special nutritional supplies for the most malnourished children, vaccines and emergency medical kits.
The Duke and Duchess accompanied by The Crown Prince and Crown Princess of Denmark, will visit the centre which to date has delivered more than 10,000 metric tones of supplies to the region, treated 108,000 severely malnourished children in therapeutic feeding centres, vaccinated 1.2 million children against measles and provided 2.2 million people with access to safe water.
- Clarence House - 10/27/11
The first thing to say is just how much The Duke and Duchess are looking forward to their forthcoming Tour of Canada, and then travelling on briefly to California. The past two months have been a very significant time in their lives, and ending this period with a Tour of Canada – a country so close to the Royal Family’s heart – is truly fitting.
The Duke has had a genuine wish to go back to Canada for many years, and has been encouraging me – often pretty hard – to find an opportunity to do so. The Royal Couple are delighted that Canada will be their first Tour together, and the Canadians have put together an extremely welcoming and well-balanced programme of meaningful engagements, mixed with fun and lots of opportunities to get to know Canada and Canadians better.
Our Canadian colleagues have taken to heart the couple’s interests, and you can see this throughout the programme. There is a focus on Servicemen and women and their families, young people unlocking their potential, but for the most part their Tour will be a celebration of the diversity and vibrancy of Canada’s people and geography.
The Canada Tour starts and finishes with two very high-profile events: Canada Day, the national celebration of unity, with potentially hundreds of thousands in red and white on Parliament Hill in Ottawa; and finishing with the world-renowned festival of the Calgary Stampede.
In between, there is a kaleidoscope of activity:
- Montreal with its cuisine and international jazz festival;
- Quebec City, this great and historic place overlooking the St. Lawrence;
- Prince Edward Island, a stunningly picturesque Maritime Province;
- the North West Territories, in all its vastness and remoteness – including Yellowknife, a true frontier city with a hugely welcoming population.
- and Calgary in Alberta, and an introduction to Canada’s vast prairies and extractive industries, all framed by the mighty Rockies.
Now, if I may, the engagements in more detail:
The Royal Couple will arrive mid-afternoon by an Canadian Air Force jet – an offer kindly made by the Canadian Prime Minister.
On arrival, The Duke and Duchess will go straight from the airport to pay their respects at the Canadian cenotaph and tomb of the unknown warrior in central Ottawa – a monument of great dignity to those who have lost their lives in service of their country. The couple were keen for this to be their first act in Canada. Such memorials are always poignant, but particularly so right now as Canada’s combat role in Afghanistan is drawing to an end. Canada has lost, to date, 155 service personnel in Afghanistan, one of the highest for any ISAF ally. They have been fighting alongside British, Afghan forces, and US forces in Southern Afghanistan, focused on Kandahar, one of the most troubled cities and provinces. At the Cenotaph, the couple will lay the same wreath that The Prince of Wales laid during his Tour two years ago.
Following the wreath laying, the couple will attend their Official Welcome to Canada at the Governor-General’s Residence, Rideau Hall. Senior members of the Royal Family often receive an Official Welcome to country. This will take place at the Governor-General’s House and will include a parade and full Guard of Honour. The Duke will respond to the Welcome on behalf of the couple with a few words, and we anticipate crowds to have gathered to welcome them in the Residence’s grounds.
Later, in the early evening, the Governor-General will host an informal reception for young people from across Canada. The 120 Canadian young people have been invited by the Governor-General for their impact and contribution to the areas of voluntary service identified in the Royal Wedding Charitable Gift Fund.
On Friday 1st July – Canada Day – the couple will attend a Canadian Citizenship Ceremony at the Museum of Canadian Civilisation.
The event is a regular “swearing in” ceremony for new Canadians, which happens almost every day all over the country. However, traditionally on Canada Day, the Governor-General presides over one such ceremony, and it is to this that the Royal Couple will be going. There, the couple will witness around a dozen “new” Canadians of varying ages from different parts of the world becoming Canadian citizens. It aligns fully with the second theme of Canada Day this year, “citizenship”, and will be a colourful celebration with flags handed out by the Royal Couple to each new citizen and, no doubt, plenty of smiling families – a celebration of Canada’s diversity. The Royal Couple’s attendance is particularly apt as swearing-in ceremonies include a pledge of allegiance to Her Majesty The Queen of Canada.
This engagement will be followed by the Canada Day “Noon Show”. This is the main ceremonial moment of the Tour. The couple will join the Governor-General and his wife and travel by landau to Parliament Hill, the focal point for all of Canada’s national day celebrations. Attendees normally number in the hundreds of thousands, festooned in red and white, and celebrating their country. The Noon Day show includes music, pageantry and speeches. The Duke will say a few words, as will the Prime Minister. The three main themes of the celebrations this year are: support for the Armed Forces and their families; citizenship, and a celebration of Canada’s Great Outdoors, with the 100th Birthday of “Parks Canada”, the body which protects the National Parks.
As part of the celebrations, there will be anthems, a flypast by the Snowbirds and a link-up with Canadian Forces in Kandahar in Southern Afghanistan.
After the event has finished, there will be a break in the programme for Their Royal Highnesses to recharge and prepare for the Canada Day “Evening Show”.
Celebrations are in two parts. The Noon Show is the traditional and more ceremonial moment. In the evening, there is separate show with a real party spirit – with spectacular fireworks and a rock and pop concert which is broadcast nationwide. Their Royal Highnesses will drop into the “Evening Show” and enjoy the entertainment, before attending a private diplomatic reception elsewhere in the city from where they will watch the firework show.
This will complete a pretty full and exciting programme celebrating Canada’s National Day.
In the morning of Saturday 2nd July, Their Royal Highnnesses will follow a long-standing and noble tradition in Canada of planting a tree in the grounds of Rideau Hall, the Governor-General’s residence. Many Members of the Royal Family have done this, and we understand that the Canadians have selected a local species for the couple to plant – the Canadian hemlock, which traditionally lives for up to 500 years.
The next engagement is at the incredibly impressive and moving Canadian War Museum. The couple will first privately visit a sanctuary to the Unknown Warrior at the Museum. It was designed so that, at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, a beam of light strikes a gravestone taken from the fields of Vimy. The Couple will have a moment for private reflection there.
The Couple will then join a reception for Canadian servicemen and their families from a range of campaigns in Canada’s modern military history: Afghanistan, the Balkans, Korea, and the Second World War. This takes place in a large open exhibition room of military vehicles, tanks, mobile units and so forth, from the various campaigns. Their Royal Highnesses will spend time with the veterans, including some injured servicemen, and unveil a new painting acquired by the Museum. They will then briefly tour the rest of the museum.
The couple will then board the Canadian Air Force Airbus for a short flight to Canada’s East Coast industrial powerhouse, Montreal. It is also known for its international flavour, great food, comedy, jazz and film festivals.
The first engagement in Montreal is the world-renowned Saint-Justine University Hospital Centre. This visit aims to highlight the work of one of the leading hospitals in the world specialising in children’s care. The hospital pioneers technology and new approaches to help children come into the world, and also in the treatment of children recovering from serious illnesses. The hospital takes a holistic approach, working with families as well as the children, stimulating their learning and keeping their minds active.
The couple are very keen to go to Saint-Justine, what with The Duke’s close links to the Royal Marsden Hospital here. And the way arts are used to stimulate the children was of particular interest to The Duchess, who has long held an interest in what is termed arts therapy.
Their Royal Highnesses will privately visit the neo-natal clinic where innovative methods have achieved miraculous results, spending time with a few families learning to care for their new born children. Finally, the Royal Couple will meet youngsters in the arts therapy room where carers encourage the children staying in the hospital to express themselves, learn and grow using hands-on arts and crafts. It will be a truly colourful, bright and uplifting visit.
The next engagement focuses on the couple’s shared interest in seeing young people unlock their potential. In this case, through a strength of the province of Quebec, at the L’Institute de Tourisme et d’hotellerie du Quebec.
This engagement celebrates one of Quebec’s tremendous assets: culinary arts and hospitality. The Institute trains young men and women for the catering and hospitality business all around the world. The graduates here are counted among the very best, and go on to join top hotels and restaurants.
Their Royal Highnesses will join the students in a tutorial in a working kitchen, learning to prepare a few dishes, putting on an apron, and rolling their sleeves up. They will then join a reception with the students. Then, the Premier of Quebec and his wife will join the Royal Couple over a private dinner to enjoy what the students and they have cooked.
That evening, Their Royal Highnesses will be piped aboard a Canadian frigate, HMCS Montreal, and travel up the St. Lawrence river to Quebec City. As it happens, by sheer coincidence, there will be an international fireworks competition very close-by as the Ship sets sail from Montreal quayside.
Arrival in Quebec on Sunday 3rd July will be spectacular as the naval vessel draws up beneath the walled city of old Quebec. Quebec City is a gem. A truly north American city, its heart plucked straight from late mediaeval France.
The first engagement of the day will be Morning Prayers, on the helicopter deck of the Montreal, with the Ship’s Company. We expect that clergy from the City will join the company on the ship.
Their Royal Highnesses will then depart for a terrific youth project in the city. Many of you will remember the engagement in Redfearn in Sydney last year. It will be in a similar vein, getting to appreciate some of the real issues facing young people in Canada’s cities – and of course it allies closely with The Duke’s ongoing support for charities that look after vulnerable young people here in the United Kingdom.
The next stop in Quebec City is to celebrate the Royal 22nd Regiment of Canada, the legendary “Vingt Douze”. The couple will observe a military ceremony in honour of the Regiment. The Regiment is a renowned and much respected component of Canada’s history and fighting forces, and the couple feel very privileged to attend this event.
The final engagement is a hop by helicopter into a lively community event with barbecues and fun stalls, the attendees still in full flush of Canada’s National Day on 1st July. This will be an opportunity for Their Royal Highnesses to meet Quebecois and experience again the diversity and vibrancy of this extraordinary part of Canada.
We will say more about all three of these engagements nearer the time.
It is then a short flight to Prince Edward Island, the most easterly point of the Tour and an introduction for the couple to Canada’s Maritime provinces. The Canadian Government anticipates that P.E.I. (as it is known) may be a focal point for many well wishers from across the Maritimes. P.E.I. is a terrifically welcoming place, and is well known as the home of the Anne of Green Gables. More importantly, P.E.I. also has an important place in the history of Canada, as it was where the Confederation of Canada’s provinces was signed in 1864.
On arrival in PEI, we hope the couple will join you and some Canadian media for informal, off-the-record drinks in Charlottetown. Mig will give you further details.
On Monday morning, 4th July, the couple will arrive at Province House at one end of Great George Street, the historic street in Charlottetown. The couple will meet the Premier and learn about the important place Province House has in Canadian history. It was here that representatives of the Provinces came together to form the Dominion of Canada. The couple will see the historic rooms and then meet – and be photographed with – the “Founding Fathers” and children, who will be in period costume.
The Duke will respond to some remarks by the Premier with a few words of his own. We anticipate there may be well wishers lining the route to the harbour, where the couple will travel in an open-top vehicle – probably a carriage. It’s a journey of about half a mile. At the harbour, they will watch a few moments of a short play. Following this lively finale, they will then depart for Dalvay-by-the-Sea, where they will attend a cultural event.
The beachside resort of Dalvay-by-the-Sea is a holiday destination with picket fences, large wooden houses with verandas, red barns, and green grass. It was used as a backdrop, reportedly, for some television adaptations of the Anne of Green Gables stories.
While Great George Street celebrated the past and heritage of Canada, the Dalvay engagement is very much a community event with plenty of colour, showing off the Island’s diversity.
First at Dalvay, The Duke will participate in a Canadian Air Force demonstration at a nearby lake. The Canadian Search and Rescue Force is the only one in the world to undertake “Waterbirding”, a technique whereby a Sea King helicopter makes a controlled landing on water. The Sea King, which operates below 500 feet or in a hover when conducting anti-submarine warfare or in search and rescue operations, does not always have a safe landing site should an emergency occur; the closest ship or land could be miles away. In the event of engine failure, a controlled landing on the water may be the only option. The Duke will take part as aircrew in a demonstration in a Sea King helicopter, undertaking a Waterbirding exercise at Dalvay.
Their Royal Highnesses will then team up with Dragonboat racers, taking a boat each – although I hasten to add, not themselves paddling, though probably steering – and they will race across the lake to the opposite bank where crowds will be gathered. After congratulating the winning team, the couple will be welcomed by First Nations people with a traditional “smudging” ceremony. They will then go on a walkabout, enjoying different types of music from the Maritimes, including Arcadian (with its roots in French music), Celtic and First Nations. We hope there will also be a chance for the couple to taste a couple of local delicacies, which might include raspberry cordial, chocolate covered potato crisps and P.E.I.’s famous lobster…
The end of the engagement is on the dunes of the beach. Young people will be engaged in a range of beach sports, and the couple will start one of the games and present prizes to the winners of various competitions.
The next and last engagement on Prince Edward Island is at Summerside, where the couple will join an event with the Canadian Force’s Search and Rescue Force. They will board a Coastguard vessel at the harbour, chat with serving officers and some of their familes, and meet people who have been rescued by the Search and Rescue crews. A helicopter crew will then do a short demonstration in the harbour, also entertaining crowds which will have gathered around the bay.
As you might remember, Canadian Search and Rescue was one of the recipients of the Wedding Gift Fund. The Duke and Duchess are delighted to include this element in the programme. Also, the Canadian Equerry for the Tour, Captain Jean Leroux, is a serving Search and Rescue pilot.
The couple will then depart from Summerside airport, a short-drive away. The next location, the North West Territories is the longest flight on the trip. This is the only big hop the couple will do. They will arrive quite late in the evening, but it will be light as we are heading “60 above” in latitude and it is likely that the sun will not set at all while we are there.
Tuesday 5th July begins with a wonderfully colourful engagement by the lake in North West Territories capital, Yellowknife. This is the opportunity to meet the people who may have travelled great distances to welcome the couple, and, once again, to get to know a little better how different and fascinating the great North can be. It was very much the couple’s wish to experience this part of the world.
The location is in the centre of the city next to a lake. NWT is famous for its thousands of inland lakes. There will be a welcome by First Nation peoples, and a few words to the crowd from the Premier and The Duke. During a walkabout, there will be demonstrations of Arctic Sports.
After a walkabout, they join the Premier, a former ice hockey player of some standing – for a game of “shinny” or street hockey. The Duke and Duchess will take part in some way – perhaps dropping or shooting a few penalties.
Following the shinny game, it’s then a short drive to the Provincial Legislative Assembly for discussions with the Province’s Youth Parliament. The building is modern and impressive, and it was opened by The Queen on the last official Royal Tour that took in the North West Territories, in 1994. In the centre of the open and light-wood chamber, reminiscent in design of an igloo, lies a large polar bear skin. The polar bear is the symbol of N.W.T. The young people will be having a debate about issues which matter to them, and the couple will be invited to join them, listen and ask questions.
Their Royal Highnesses will then attend a short reception with senior members of the Legislative Assembly. A few words will be said before departure.
The final engagement in this frontier Province is to bounce out into the real wilderness. Exploring Canada’s Great Outdoors was something the couple really wanted to do, and a visit to N.W.T. provides an unparalleled opportunity to do this. It is an extraordinary landscape on the edge of the tundra and the tree-line, peppered with thousands of freshwater lakes.
The couple will have an opportunity to do something else close to their hearts. The Duchess has a very strong interest in crafts and traditional arts and The Duke, you’ll remember from his recent visits to Australia and New Zealand, has an interest in understanding more about indigenous peoples, or First Peoples as they are known in Canada.
For this last engagement in the North West Territories, Their Royal Highnesses will go to an island about 30 minutes by air, east of Yellowknife. There will be two components here.
First, having arrived by Float Plane, the couple will meet volunteers and officers from the Canadian Rangers and Young Canadian Rangers. These hardy people explore, survey and protect the wilderness. They will demonstrate their military kit, how they camp and survive on patrol, and invite the couple to join them around the fire for some tea and “bannock”. There might be some traditional singing from the younger Rangers, too. You might recall that The Duke and his brother Prince Harry were made honorary Rangers during The Prince of Wales’s Tour in 2009, so this serial will be a particular honour and pleasure for The Duke.
The couple will then go to Blachford Lodge, a house built over a number of years on the island which serves as a retreat with modern facilities in the wilderness for tourists. It is also used as a base by De’Chinta, an educational organisation which brings together young people from across the Territories to teach and practice traditional arts and techniques such as preparing hides and skins, needlecraft and story telling. The couple will meet two women about the couple’s age, who run this programme. Their guides will introduce them to students learning local indigenous languages, and then move outside, where the couple will see hides being prepared for clothing and fish being smoked. At the end of the tour, the couple will join a campfire discussion with the young people about what it’s like to live in the Territories and learn how and why they have come to De’Chinta.
Finally in early evening (but with the sun barely dipping), the couple will take a canoe to a nearby island for a private barbecue with the De’Chinta team.
On Wednesday 6th July, following seven quite intensive days, the couple will transfer to Alberta province and there take some private time for 24 hours. The rest of the delegation will travel directly to Calgary.
Alberta and Calgary is very much Canada’s West, where the prairies meet the mountains. It is cowboy country – quite literally. The shiny high-rise City of Calgary will be preparing for its world-renowned Stampede, a kind of festival of the prairies through rodeo, music and the arts. Jeans, boots and cowboy hats will be out in force. It is another thrilling example of Canada’s diversity and vibrancy and will be a tremendous experience for the couple.
On arrival in Calgary on Thursday 7th July, Their Royal Highnesses will be “white-hatted”, a tradition which sees the provincial government presenting them with white cowboy hats.
But there is more to Calgary than the Stampede. The couple will first visit a teaching hospital under the auspices of the University of Alberta, where they will tour the Ward of the 21st Century Research and Innovation Centre. This centre pioneers new techniques and technology to improve patient care and training for medical staff.
The couple will meet– and get to treat “STAN”. STAN is a whacky but cutting-edge learning tool for doctors and nurses. Through computers and medical staff, Stan is a patient in bed who recreates the symptoms, conditions and complaints of a patient, meaning that the staff can respond in real time and be tested under pressure. The couple will also see some of the other technological advances the Ward is pioneering.
Later that evening, the Couple will join a reception hosted by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Mrs Harper at the main Stampede exhibition centre. In the courtyard outside, there will be an opportunity for Their Royal Highnesses to see a little of what the Stampede has to offer. The Duke will throw a “stove” into a “chuck wagon”, the traditional way to start one of the Stampede’s races. There will be a demonstration of bull riding, lasso-ing, and a welcome from First Nations peoples. A wonderfully colourful event.
Inside, the couple will join a large reception, and here the Prime Minister will invite The Duke to say a few words – his last in Canada.
Friday 8th July is an early start and the last day in Canada. The Stampede officially begins each year with a parade through the centre of the city. This is an exciting and colourful event which has a long history, with many Albertans lining the route. It is broadcast nationally in Canada. The Duke and Duchess will join up with the Honorary Parade Marshall, Rick Hansen, a legendary Canadian figure who has raised funds and profile for Spinal Injury charities through his own foundation and a tour of the world in his wheelchair. The couple will travel along the length of the route with Mr. Hansen before officially starting the Parade. They will then join guests of the Stampede to watch some of the wagons and floats roll by.
The penultimate engagement in Canada is hosted by Alberta’s Premier at Calgary Zoo. This is a reception in which the Premier will highlight some of the other high-tech research, particularly in the field of protecting the environment, taking place in the province. The Premier will say a few words.
Mirroring the Official Welcome in Ottawa just over a week before, an Official Farewell will be hosted by the Governor-General at a recently refurbished sports facility outside the city. This will involve a parade and military honours. The Duke and Duchess may also lay flowers at a tribute for Canadian Forces, a mural which is touring Canada and includes portraits of those who have died on active service in Afghanistan.
This will round off a tremendously exciting and varied programme in Canada, which The Royal Couple feel is an incredible opportunity to get to know Canada better, and start to build real and long-lasting relationships. As they wanted, the programme builds heavily on their existing interests, but also introduces them to the diversity and vibrancy of Canada.
- Press Release - 06/21/11
In California, the Royal Couple are delighted to able to contribute to deepening and strengthening the multi-layered links between the United States and the United Kingdom. Their visit builds on the momentum of Prince Harry’s visit to the East Coast last year and the year before that, The Prince of Wales’s recent visit to Washington, and President Obama’s State Visit to the UK this summer. The visit will support the interests of the United Kingdom through the prism of the Royal Couple’s interests.
The United States West Coast is a tremendously important market for British business. The Duke and Duchess will support UK technology investment as well as the creative industries through BAFTA. They will highlight the bond between the US and UK’s Armed Forces, particularly focusing now on the important next step of reintegration of servicemen and women into civilian life after they have finished active service. The Royal Couple will also build on strong existing links between the US and UK charitable sector through some established patronages, such as Tusk and Centrepoint, and the work of their Charitable Foundation.
A word on the engagements:
The Duke and Duchess will depart from Calgary by Canadian Airbus on Friday afternoon to Los Angeles, arriving early evening.
To recap, the purpose and objectives of the US visit are threefold: to lend direct support to the UK’s prosperity agenda, which is seeking to create jobs and investment, by deepening the strong bonds between the US and UK. Secondly, the visit aims to deepen and strengthen links between our respective Armed Forces, particularly on veterans issues, including reintegration into society – and create and tighten relationships in the charitable sector. Finally, the visit builds on the momentum of Prince Harry’s visit last year, The Prince of Wales’s visit this Spring, and the State Visit by President Obama.
The British Ambassador will meet the couple on arrival and they will go directly to an event in support of UK Trade and Investment.
This pre-planned business event brings together British and American technologists and Venture Capitalists to find new avenues for investment and create jobs in the USA and UK. A key priority for the event is generating support for the development of “Tech City”, a push to promote the Old Street area of London as a world-leading hub for developments in technology and software design. The couple will hear a short presentation by leading technologists, and then have an opportunity to meet some of the delegates at the conference.
The final engagement on Friday is a working reception at the Consul-General’s Residence in Los Angeles. This will include some of California’s political leaders, as well as providing a good opportunity for key contacts and friends of the United Kingdom in California (including philanthropy, business and the creative industries) to meet the couple.
The aim of the event is very much to strengthen and deepen the already strong and multi-layered links between the British Isles and the West Coast of the USA. The Duke and Duchess are delighted to able to support our Country, flying the flag in a way they have not had the opportunity to do overseas before.
On Saturday 9th July, the couple will travel to Santa Barbara Polo and Racquet Club. The Club is celebrating its centenary and is hosting a “Foundation Polo Cup” in aid of The American Friends of The Foundation of Prince William and Prince Harry. The charitable work of The Princes and The Duchess, notably through the Wedding Gift Fund and Prince Harry’s Walking With The Wounded expedition, has captured the imagination of many in the United States.
This event is an opportunity for the Foundation to raise its profile there, including its approach to “catalytic philanthropy”. The Cup will raise funds, and also hoist the flag for the United Kingdom. The Duke will play, and The Duchess will attend the event and hand over the prize to the winning team.
On Saturday night, the couple are very much looking forward to an event in support of the British Academy for Film and Television Arts – BAFTA. As you know, The Duke is Academy President, but he sees this as a tremendous opportunity to build on the momentum of British successes in television, film and video games. BAFTA are looking for concrete results from this event.
The aim is twofold: to connect the best, young, up-and-coming British talent with Hollywood’s movers and shakers; and to showcase the incredible skills, talent and strengths of the UK creative industries at home and in California. This will embrace film, television, video games and music.
It will be a red carpet event, in black tie, with a sit-down dinner. It will take place in a fabulously regenerated 1920s building, the Belasco Theatre, in Downtown Los Angeles, which is undergoing a renaissance. At each table, young British talent will be buddied with, and sit alongside, the Industry’s executives and studio bosses: We hope it will get them that big break, but also that it will generate more and greater interest in investment in the UK creative industries, whether it be film production, television, special effects, or computer game design. The Duke will make a short speech at this event.
The final day of the tour – Sunday 10th July – starts with a private engagement in support of Tusk USA. The Duke is Patron of Tusk Trust in the UK, and its work on conservation in Africa. This is its American branch, and The Duke is delighted to be able to participate in an event which will give more support to this important cause.
The next engagement brings the couple back into Downtown Los Angeles. They will visit Inner City Arts, an incredible organisation which uses visual arts and performance to give inner city kids – in one of the toughest neighbourhoods in the world – an oasis of calm, fun and learning. It seems to be at the direct meeting point of couples’ interests: homelessness is a massive issue in Downtown LA – 270,000 are homeless in Los Angeles. As we’ve discussed earlier, The Duchess is extremely interested in how the arts can help young people unlock their potential. It brings together these strands in a concrete, meaningful way.
Centrepoint from the UK, another of The Duke’s patronages, has connected with Inner City Arts as a result of this visit. The British Council in LA, with the support of the Embassy and Consulate-General, is also exploring ways of deepening the links between the UK and US charitable sector in this regard.
The couple are really looking forward to meeting the children participating in art programmes – mainly painting and pottery. The couple will then join an audience of children and supporters and watch a performance from the dance and drama classes.
The Duke and Duchess will then move on to the final event of the Tour which aims to strengthen further the links between UK and US armed forces. It focuses primarily on military families and the reintegration of returning servicemen and servicewomen – with an emphasis on training and employment, which is of real interest to The Duke and Prince Harry at the moment.
“Service Nation: Mission Serve” is an umbrella organisation, set up by the US government, which brings together a host of different service charities to support the reintegration of Servicemen and women to civvy street.
That Sunday, an enormous “job fair” is taking place at Sony Pictures Studio under the “Service Nation: Mission Serve” banner. The Duke and Duchess will attend and learn more about how the US is taking steps to support returning servicemen. The Foundation is taking a very close interest, too, and beginning to look at ways to work with “Service Nation: MissionServe” on this. The couple will meet the project’s supporters in a reception, and visit the job fair. The Duke will say a few words alongside a supporter of the project and a speaker from the US government. They will then help pack care packages for the families of Servicemen and women deployed on operations, and spend some time with one of the families who have benefitted from the programme.
That completes the engagements, and completes the Tour.
The couple will then depart by scheduled airline that afternoon and return directly to the United Kingdom.
A word, if I may now, about the entourage, as I know this has been of some interest. The couple will be supported by the following members of their Household on the Tour:
- Me – as the Private Secretary
- Chris Kealey – as the Tour Coordinator
- Miguel Head – their Press Secretary
- Patrick Harrison – The Prince of Wales’s Press Secretary
In addition, the Household will be supported by:
- Sir David Manning – Sir David, as you know, acts as an advisor to The Duke and Duchess and to Prince Harry.
- An administrative assistant, drawn from the Household Office.
- And a hairdresser – James Pryce – who will come along for The Duchess.
- 06/15/11 - Press Release
The Duke of Cambridge announced ambitious plans to help disadvantaged children in the UK and Africa as he and his wife attended their first official public engagement as a married couple.
The couple attended a gala charity black-tie dinner to mark the 10th anniversary of the children’s charity ARK (Absolute Return for Kids) co-founded by financier Arpad Busson and Ian Wace.
During the course of the evening, The Duke announced a joint venture between the Foundation for Prince William and Prince Harry and ARK which is set to help children in the UK and then children in Africa.
In a speech he said that he hoped the venture would “raise aspirations, broaden horizons and encourage young people to achieve”.
A host of stars attended the gala evening including oscar-winning actor Colin Firth, Liz Hurley, Jemima Khan and Mariella Frostrup.
On the charitable partnership The Duke said: “This new joint initiative is based on our shared vision and commitment to transform the lives of thousands of young people.
"I know that I am very fortunate. I had a good education, a secure home and a loving and supportive family. So many young people, however, do not have these advantages and, as a result, can lack the confidence and knowledge to realise their full potential."
The Duke explained the initiative would be a four-year programme and create opportunities to educate children in UK, then later expand to projects in sub-Saharan Africa.
- 06/09/11 - Press Release