SUPPORT OUR JOURNALISM: Please consider donating to keep our website running and free for all - thank you!

Princess Anne and Family

Princess Anne visits local projects in Somerset


The Princess Royal undertook a series of engagements in Somerset last Friday, opening a new school building, a food and drink innovation centre, and opening the refurbished gardens at the local university.

Princess Anne’s busy day began at the Fairmead School in Yeovil, where she opened the new Sycamore Building. During her visit, she was greeted by headteacher Tracy Felstead, staff and students at the new facilities.

The Sycamore Building was completed before the school year started and includes 12 classrooms and a sports facility. The school teaches students who have moderate learning disabilities and autism spectrum disorder, and the new building allows for the school population to grow by 40 to 140 students.

During her visit, Princess Anne attended various lessons and saw how the immersive experience room provides sensory learning opportunities. She also heard the school choir perform before unveiling a plaque to commemorate her visit.

In an interview after Princess Anne’s visit, Felstead told the Somerset County Gazette, “Her Royal Highness’s visit has been the highlight of our school year.

“I could not think of a more fitting way to mark the start of this exciting new era for our school and our community. We are all so delighted with the modern, bright and calm new learning environments this project has created.

“It was a privilege to meet The Princess, and I was pleased to have the opportunity to thank her on behalf of all the staff and students for taking the time to visit us.”

Next, Princess Anne paid a visit to The Food WorksSW in Weston-Super-Mare to open the new facilities, which allows local food and drink establishments to test, develop and manufacture products.

She also met with members of the North Somerset Together Partnership that supported the community during the global pandemic, ensuring that residents received support from local government, community groups, parish groups and faith groups.

As she unveiled a plaque to mark her visit, Princess Anne said, “I’m delighted Food Works is here and functioning well, and people are taking advantage of it. I’ve heard that it might grow, even more, so good luck with those plans.”

Finally, Princess Anne travelled to University Centre Weston to open the refurbished Winter Gardens and the brand-new University Centre Weston facilities that are home to the Law and Professional Services Academy.

Princess Anne was received by staff members, including Dr Paul Phillips, the Principal and Chief Executive of the College, who said, “I feel both honoured and privileged to welcome and share this impressive redevelopment with The Princess Royal; this is her third visit to the College, The Princess Royal opened Loxton Campus in 2008 and then South West Skills Campus in 2018.”

Princess Anne toured the facilities and watched demonstrations from students working with “VR technology and Hi-fidelity interactive manikins,” according to the college’s website, before taking in a musical performance in the Winter Garden’s ballroom.

About author

Jess is the Senior Royal Reporter and Editorial Assistant at Royal Central. Her interest in royalty started in her teenage years, coinciding with The Queen's Golden Jubilee in 2002 and grew from there. She specializes in the British Royal Family (with emphasis on the Cambridges) and the Danish Royal Family, and has provided royal commentary for media outlets in Canada, the United States, the UK and Australia.