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Double duties for The Duke of Kent

The Duke of Kent performed not one but two official Royal duties on Wednesday 8th October as he stopped by at Preston Park Museum.

The first of these duties was one that had the Duke clearly in his element as he officially named one of the two rowing boats recently bought by Tees Rowing Club. In his youth, The Duke of Kent was an Eton rower and was more than comfortable in pouring champagne over the nose of the ‘Duke of Kent 150’, so named in recognition of the club celebrating its 150th anniversary.

The Duke spent a length of time talking with TRC members as well as getting the chance to speak with Derek and Penny Copeland, parents of London 2012 Gold Medallist Kat Copeland. Penny Copeland commented, “It has been a good day and it was lovely to get an invite. Kat would have no doubt loved to be here but she has been in Rio at a training camp. The boat was meant to be named after her but she asked if she could name it after us, which is wonderful but that’s what she is like.” The second of the boats, which the Duke of Kent did not officially name, was named after Derek and Penny Copeland.

It wasn’t just Olympic Gold Medallist’s parents that the Duke got to meet at the event, pupils of Yarm school’s rowing team also got to share their passion for the sport with His Royal Highness.

Following on from proceedings with the rowing boats, The Duke of Kent moved to the stunning walled kitchen garden at Preston Park Museum. The second of his duties saw him unveil a plaque to mark the opening of the Victorian Garden, which has been brought back to life by a vast amount of volunteers in a continuous project over the last two and a half years.

Senior Gardener, Keith Hugill, commented on the new garden, “It has been great to see so many people here today and to have someone so important officially opening the garden. It is great publicity and really nice for the volunteers to have some recognition for all their hard work. Without them the garden would not exist.”

It wasn’t just the volunteers who were pleased with the end result either, as The Duke of Kent left the garden he told the gathered crowds, “It’s a fantastic garden.” Now there really is a Royal seal of approval!
Featured Photo Credit: CWGC via photopin cc

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