The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall spent the day in Liverpool, first beginning the day together for joint events at the University of Liverpool, before splitting off for different engagements with their various patronages and interests.
Their first stop was Victoria Gallery at the University of Liverpool, where Charles and Camilla attended a reception accompanied by President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins and his wife Sabina Coyne.
The reception aimed to celebrate and formally cement the Prince Charles and the President of Ireland’s roles as joint patrons of Liverpool University’s Institute of Irish Studies.
During the event, The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall met members of the Irish community and heard Professor of Irish Literature, Frank Shovlin, reading a letter from Irish writer John McGahern to Irish poet Seamus Heaney.
President Higgins and the Prince of Wales are joint Patrons of the Institute of Irish Studies.
— President of Ireland (@PresidentIRL) February 12, 2019
The Vice Chancellor of the university, Professor Dame Janet Beer, highlighted the importance of the Institute saying it ‘plays a huge role in shaping the relationship between our islands, through its research, events, student programmes and expertise.’
“This visit provides an excellent opportunity for us to showcase this important work.”
The Institute of Irish Studies was formed in 1988, as part of the 1985 Anglo-Irish agreement to encourage greater understanding between the United Kingdom and Ireland.
The Prince of Wales and the President signed the Centre’s Charter, in honour of the joint patronage.
President Higgins is currently taking part in a three-day visit to the United Kingdom. Visiting Birmingham Town Hall yesterday, he said that the deep friendships that have grown between the two nations (Britain and Ireland) will be more important than ever in the wake of Brexit.
Prince Charles then visited St George’s Hall to view the newly discovered ‘undercroft’. These spaces were traditionally cellars but it has now been transformed into gallery spaces.
A priceless “Minton” mosaic floor, comprised of of over 30,000 tiles, sits within the hall, and is used for local, public occasions.
The Prince of Wales also met Makaziwe Mandela, Nelson Mandela’s daughter. She is on a trip to the UK, and has donated a set of her father’s drawings for display at St George’s Hall. Miss Mandela began her visit on Monday, the 29th anniversary of her father being released from prison after 27 years incarceration.
Camilla, meanwhile, headed to Liverpool Central Library to attend a Beanstalk Story Starters children’s literacy event. This was to celebrate the charity’s partnership with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. The project, created by both organisations, aims to give people the support they need to develop their language and reading skills. Camilla became patron of Beanstalk in January 2013, at the start of its 40th Anniversary.
During the literacy event, the Duchess met pupils from Broadgreen Primary School. One of the children impressed the Royal by reading a whole book, Wolf Man by Michael Rosen, to Camilla and the other pupils.
The Duchess of Cornwall also visited Liverpool Central Library where Her Royal Highness found out more about “Story Starters”, a scheme which aims to give people the support they need to develop their language and reading skills. #RoyalVisitMerseyside
📷 @bbcmerseyside pic.twitter.com/PJd9FBotu0
— Clarence House (@ClarenceHouse) February 12, 2019
— BBC Merseyside (@bbcmerseyside) February 12, 2019
At the end of the visit to Liverpool, Her Royal Highness posed in front of the Liverpool Liver Bird wings created by Paul Curtis. The mural, located in the Baltic Trianglet, is known as one of the most famous places in the city to take pictures for social media.
The Duchess of Cornwall stands between the wings of artist Paul Curtis’ mural entitled For All Liverpool’s Liver Birds.
— Elliot Wagland (@elliotwagland) February 12, 2019
After Camilla’s visit, Mr Curtis told the Liverpool ECHO that “It’s all a bit bizarre, it still hasn’t sunk in a little.”
“It’s great that she has come to Liverpool, that’s the main thing. It’s great that she has paid an interest in what happening in the Baltic area. For me it’s an honour to have someone like that notice the wings.”
Prince Charles also headed to the Royal Albert Dock, in recognition of its new royal status ahead of the 175th anniversary of the Dock in 2021. Royal status was granted by The Queen last year, to recognise the importance and historical significance of the Grade I listed site.
Named after the man who opened it in, Prince Albert, the dock was designed by engineer and architect Jesse Hartley, changing the way Docks worked by cutting offloading times. 40% of global trade passed through Liverpool in the 19th century. It was the future King who opened the renovated site in 1988.
During a tour of the Docks, The Prince of Wales viewed the International Slavery Museum, which is the only national museum in the world to explore transatlantic slavery and its legacy and effects today.
He was given a leather handbag and organiser for himself and the Duchess, plus an illustration of a red squirrel.
These are the items that were gifted to Prince Charles while in the Leather Sachel Company. The owner said he had made a small bag for Camilla because “she doesn’t have to carry much” to which Prince Charles replied “I’m not so sure!” pic.twitter.com/0WNqvfMpfh
— Kate McMullin (@KateMcMullin1) February 12, 2019
Prince Charles is known for his love of red squirrels and has been gifted this illustration by The Nest staff pic.twitter.com/n0tI1otJGi
— Kate McMullin (@KateMcMullin1) February 12, 2019
Lastly for Charles, he visited a Marie Curie Hospice as patron of the charity. Marie Stopes cares for people living with a terminal illness, and has had the Royal as patron for 16 years now.
The Prince spend time chatting to staff and patients, before unveiling a plaque and cutting a cake to mark the occasion.
HRH Prince Charles praised staff for their “unsung and unseen work” pic.twitter.com/D0yo09MTuI
— Rachael McMenemy (@RachaelMcEcho) February 12, 2019