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Princess Anne and Family

Durrell celebrates 50 years of The Princess Royal’s patronage

The Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust is marking the 50th anniversary of The Princess Royal becoming its patron.

In honour of the milestone, the Princess is expected to receive a tortoise sculpture from the much-anticipated Tortoise Takeover art trail set to open in Jersey next summer. A small number of artists have been invited to submit designs for the sculpture with the goal of representing the Princess’s commitment to the Trust over the last 50 years.

Once the final design is selected later this year, it will be commissioned to join 50 tortoises on the Jersey trail next July and August. Once the trail is done, the sculpture will be gifted to Her Royal Highness.

Durrell’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr Lesley Dickie, said of the longtime commitment from the royal: “Over the last five decades, The Princess has visited our projects around the world, including Mauritius, Brazil and Madagascar. Her Royal Highness’s knowledge, passion and belief in our mission to save species from extinction is an inspiration to the Durrell team and our loyal supporters. We feel the tortoise is symbolic of the longevity of HRH’s support of the Trust, and as tortoises represent good luck, wisdom and the creation of the Earth in many cultures, there is even further resonance for HRH’s patronage.

“This tortoise will be a real highlight of the trail next summer. All of us at Durrell are looking forward to seeing islanders and visitors exploring the trail, discovering the colourful tortoise designs and connecting to nature along the way.” 

Design submissions for the royal gift are by invitation only. However, artists are encouraged to submit ideas for the trail as a whole, whether they are up-and-coming or well-known artists. Designs will be shortlisted and presented to event sponsors to be selected for the final sculptures.

Headquartered at the Jersey Zoo in the Channel Islands, the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust is an international charity working to save species from extinction.

About author

My name is Sydney Zatz and I am a University of Iowa graduate. I graduated with a degree in journalism and sports studies, and a minor in sport and recreation management. A highlight of my college career was getting the chance to study abroad in London and experiencing royal history firsthand. I have a passion for royals, royal history, and journalism, which led me to want to write for Royal Central.