Her Royal Highness Princess Alexandra is following in the footsteps of her grandparents, King George V and Queen Mary, by returning to the newly refurbished Kings Gardens in Southport, on Thursday September 11th, to officially reopen the seafront park.
As well as formally unveiling the new park, Princess Alexandra will also take a tour of the historic gardens that the King and Queen walked in over 100 years ago. The public are being invited to get down to the park to cheer on Her Royal Highness and to show their support for the new restoration project which over the past two years has seen Sefton Council manage a major transformation of the seafront park with financial help from the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Big Lottery Fund.
Upon her arrival, the Royal guest will be greeted by the Mayor and Mayoress of Sefton, Councillor Kevin and Linda Cluskey before she begins her tour of the gardens which will also include Alexandra seeing some of the newly restored attractions that Kings Gardens have to offer. These attractions include the Venetian bridge and the new children’s adventure playground, however Alexandra will also meet some of the people behind the project including specialists and contractors as well as volunteers from Friends of Kings Gardens.
Princess Alexandra is the youngest Granddaughter of King George V and Queen Mary. Her father was Prince George, Duke of Kent who died during a military air crash during the Second World War while her mother was Princess Marina of Kent who died in 1968.
As is usual practice for a Royal opening, Princess Alexandra will also unveil a commemorative plaque at Kings Gardens. What makes this plaque unveiling more special, however, is that Her Royal Highness will perform the unveiling in the exact spot that King George V and Queen Mary conducted the original ceremony in 1913.
Leader of Sefton Council, Councillor Peter Dowd was in full support of the Royal visit, “Kings Gardens were originally named in recognition of King George V so it is fitting that his Granddaughter HRH Princess Alexandra will be performing these official duties over a century later. During her tour, the Princess will hear that the project has helped restore some nationally important listed buildings and how we have worked with specialist contractors who are experts in their field.”
As mentioned the project has received the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund and head of the HLF North West Sara Hilton had this to say, “As well as honouring the Garden’s history, Sefton Council have also brought the park in to the 21st century by creating a brand new visitor centre and a great number of volunteering opportunities for local people, who we know have been a pivotal part in this project.”
One can only assume that this visit will be a very special one for Princess Alexandra, being as her grandparents will have stood where she will be standing and did what she will be doing. If you want to be a part of what promises to be a great day, the Royal tour kicks off at around 2pm on Thursday September 11th.