Next week, the Earl and Countess of Wessex will make an official visit to the Isle of Wight.
On Thursday and Friday, the Royal couple will attend several engagements, both independently and together, supporting a variety of different causes and organisations.
On Thursday, the couple will attend separate engagements before regrouping later on in the day. Edward will see Brading Roman Villa. The Earl is Patron of the organisation and will tour an exhibition from The British Museum.
Later in the day the Earl will visit Shanklin Youth and Community Club, to meet with volunteers and some of the Duke of Edinburgh troupe on the island. Edward will present Suzanne Whitewood MBE with an award for service to the Duke of Edinburgh Award and Girl Guiding. After the award ceremony, he will help with World War I centenary anniversary, by planting the first of 100 bulbs for remembrance.
Sophie will meet with Rapanui,an eco-fashion company. The Countess will discuss the company’s future and speak with their apprentices. Later, she will visit local primary school, Gatten and Lake, to see a project about the Shanklin Youth and Community Club. The Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award holders will also chat with her during the school visit. Finally, Edward’s wife will visit the Isle of Wight Foodbank and see the role it plays in island life.
The couple will later visit the Shanklin Theatre for part of its 80th anniversary celebration, and will observe a short piece of drama from First Act, a group of disabled thespians. In the evening, Edward and Sophie will attend a fundraising dinner at the Royal Yacht Squadron, Cowes, to support the Newport Minster Renewal Appeal. Edward is a Patron of the Appeal and has facilitated in the restoration of the building.
Friday sees the couple attend St Mildred’s Church where Princess Beatrice, daughter of Queen Victoria married a Battenberg Prince. The church is also where the couple is buried. Following the church visit will be Queensgate Foundation Primary School. The Royal couple will observe a music and cookery lesson, followed by viewing a project about the Royal Family and the unveiling of a commemorative plaque in honour of their visit.
Osbourne House rounds off the afternoon with a stop at the Isle retreat of Queen Victoria. The Earl and Countess will officially open ‘Childhood at Osborne’, a £1.65 million project allowing the public to bear witness to royal childhood.
“The visit is a wonderful opportunity to highlight the valuable work of organisations and volunteers who contribute so much to Island life. We are very much looking forward to welcoming the Earl and Countess of Wessex back to the Isle of Wight, Lord Lieutenant of the Isle, Major General Martin White commented to The Island Echo.
In 2012, Prince Edward opened a new school building on the island. The Countess visited in 2009. This will be the first time visiting the island as a couple.