The Princess Royal visited Newcastle today (Thursday), she was greeted in the Library by Lord Mayor, Cllr Hazel Stephenson and members of the Citizens Advice Bureau who have recently moved into the Library. She will also visit an exhibition in the library marking the 800th anniversary of the Mayoralty and Freemen of Newcastle.
Lord Mayor, Cllr Stephenson, said: “It’s a great honour for the city to host this visit by Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal. She is Patron of Citizens Advice nationally, and our local office here does a great deal to help people with a wide range of issues.
“This is a very special year for Newcastle as we celebrate the 800th anniversary of the Mayoralty and Freemen in the city so I am delighted that Her Royal Highness can join us and show her support.”
Newcastle’s Citizen Advice Bureau has only recently moved into the library, but will be pleased to report to the Princess that this has doubled the number of clients they have seen. To best serve this increase, they have also taken the opportunity to embrace new technology.
There had been civilizations at this river crossing of the Tyne in both Roman and Anglo Saxon times. Indeed, it is in the Newcastle area that Hadrian’s Wall reaches the North Sea. However, New Castle takes its name from the castles built by Robert Curthose, eldest son of William I. Recognizing the strategic importance of the site he first built a wooden fort in 1080 followed by a stone castle in 1087. It is around this that the town of Newcastle grew, and the castle was rebuilt by Henry II in the twelfth century when Newcastle was the northern stronghold of England. It was King John in 1216 that first gave permission for Newcastle to have a mayor, also twelve guilds or mysteries representing trades.
During her visit, Princess Anne will also meet other local dignitaries and library staff who have curated The Exhibition of the Mayoralty. She will also be presented with a book, The History of Newcastle, written by local author and TV presenter John Grundy.