The Princess Royal will return to Harwich later this year in her role as Master of Trinity House to mark the 500th anniversary of the establishment.
Princess Anne will visit Trinity House in Harwich Quay on 25th June and will also attend a Church service at St Nicholas’s Church to celebrate the milestone anniversary on the same day.
The first official record of Trinity House is from 1514 when King Henry VIII granted a Royal Charter to a fraternity of mariners called the Guild of the Holy Trinity. At the time of inception the guild owned a great hall and almshouses, close to the naval dockyard at Deptford on the River Thames. In 1604 King James I conferred on Trinity House rights concerning compulsory pilotage of shipping and the exclusive right to licence pilots in the River Thames. Up until the 1987 Pilotage Act, Trinity House was Pilotage Authority for London and over 40 other districts including the major ports of Southampton and Harwich.
Princess Anne did become an ‘elder brother’ of Trinity House in 2004 and since has been keenly involved with the activities of the house, attending and presiding over events such as the opening of the Lizard Lighthouse Heritage Centre. The Princess Royal is also Patron of the Northern Lighthouse Board and Happisburgh Lighthouse. The Master of Trinity House from 1969 until 2011 was HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, having been an ‘elder brother’ since 1954. He was succeeded in May 2011 by his Daughter, HRH The Princess Royal, although Prince Phillip will continue to be involved with Trinity House in his previous role as an ‘elder brother’.
This visit will be the second that Princess Anne has made to Harwich this year, in April 2014 The Princess Royal opened a magnificent, multi million pound, new state of the art welfare facilities for former seafarers at Nautilus International’s Mariners Park Estate. The Trinity House Hub was formally unveiled by the Princess Royal as fully accessible apartments for older seafarers and their dependants. The hub’s community facilities also included a café, a spa, a gym and rooms for meetings and hobbies. The Trinity House hub currently provides accommodation for 160 retired seafarers and their dependants.
The visit for the Princess Royal will come in the middle of what promises to be a very busy Summer for the entire Royal Family.
Photos: Special Thanks to Vikki Gilson and Trinity House for use of their photos for this piece.