There was a Royal visitor in North Devon today as Princess Anne visited Clovelly, the first of three stops round the region.
It’s been noted that Princess Anne is the first Royal to visit the fishing village, and she was given a warm welcome by the locals. Schoolchildren, dignitaries and a prestigious local actor, Joss Ackland, greeted the Princess Royal as she arrived at Clovelly Visitors Centre.
The first Royal duty of the day was for Princess Anne to officially open the Jubilee Victoria Fountain, which commemorates the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth. Designed by Lady Feodora Gleichen, a cousin of Queen Victoria and first female member of the Royal Academy, The Victoria Fountain is magnificently restored.
“Thank you for this, to celebrate Her Majesty’s jubilee in this lovely space. This is a really nice idea and Clovelly is such a unique village where space is a premium,” Anne commented to the crowd.
The next step for the Royal was a walk down the cobbled streets arriving at the harbour to help one of the UK’s oldest maritime charities mark a major milestone. The Shipwrecked Fisherman and Mariners’ Royal Benevolent Society is celebrating its 175th anniversary by returning to the fishing village where, in 1838, the tragic loss of nine fishing vessels and 21 men spurred the charity’s formation the following year.
As Patron of the Society, The Princess Royal unveiled a special plaque commemorating the charity’s continuous role in supporting UK fisherman. She took time to speak to some of the descendants of those fisherman who were lost in the 1838 disaster as well as met some of the charity’s supporters and volunteers. The charity has helped thousands of maritime workers and their families for over 175 years.
From Clovelly, The Princess Royal made her way to Lendon Barn Centre in Abbotsham. The purpose of this visit was to hear about the ongoing work of the charity, Wings South West. The charity works with young people aged 10-25 in the Bideford area providing hope and opportunity through developing positive relationships.
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Anne was given a guided tour of the centre and heard about the exciting proposed plans for the Bridge Centre in Bideford.
As all members of the Royal Family have years of experience at plaque unveiling, it was down to Princess Anne to unveil her second of the day. The plaque was to commemorate the Royal’s visit to the Centre, and revealed just after the Princess Royal had watched local MP Geoffrey Cox play a game of cricket with some youngsters.
Wings founder and chief executive, Paul Bowser said to The North Devon Jounral, “We are honoured that the charity was chosen for such a visit and we know that it will have a positive impact on our future”.
There is no rest for the Princess Royal, as this visit comes just a day before she holds a dinner at St James’ Palace for the Voluntary Services Overseas, for whom she is the patron.
photo credit: ed_needs_a_bicycle via photopin cc