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The Kents

The Duchess of Kent celebrates music at reception in London

Fergus Burnett Photography (

It’s long been known as one of her great passions in life and earlier this month, the Duchess of Kent celebrated the world of music as she made a rare public appearance at an event in London. The duchess, in her role as Emeritus President of the Royal Northern College of Music, welcomed students past and present as well as staff to a special evening at St. James’ Palace.

Over 90 people attended the event on September 4th 2019 which included a reception and meal as well as speeches and music. The Principal of the RNCM, Linda Merrick, said ”It was an honour to celebrate our achievements with friends old and new, and to offer them an intimate glimpse into our exciting and dynamic world. I would like to take this opportunity to thank HRH The Duchess of Kent personally for hosting so graciously what was a truly wonderful evening.”

By Fergus Burnett Photography (

The Royal Northern College of Music, which is based in Manchester, was set up in its present form in 1973 with the aim of providing world class training to musicians. It can trace its roots back to the Royal Manchester College of Music which was established by Sir Charles Halle in 1898. Now, the conservatoire has around 880 students being taught by over 320 staff.

The Duchess of Kent’s support for music has been prolific throughout her royal life. She has given her support to a wide range of music associations and charities and when she stepped back from public life she spent some time as a music teacher herself. She helped set up Future Talent, a charity that helps children from low income families learn instruments, and in 2016 she hosted a concert for them at Buckingham Palace.

The duchess, who is now 86, is seen occasionally at royal events but has kept an increasingly low profile in recent years.

All photos kindly shared by RNCM and their creator, Fergus Burnett Photography (

About author

Lydia is a writer, blogger and journalist. She's worked in the media for over twenty years as a broadcast reporter, producer and editor as well as feature and online writer. As well as royals and royal history, she's a news junkie and podcaster.