Here’s a look at what some members of the Royal Family have been up to this week:
The Earl of Wessex
The Earl of Wessex travelled to China this week to complete a series of engagements related to his position as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Foundation. Edward kicked off his trip with a reception in Beijing to celebrate Gold Award winners. The event, held at the British Ambassador’s Residence, involved Prince Edward presenting the Gold Award to young people who have completed the accolade through various Chinese schools and organisations.
In China and Hong Kong, almost 60,000 young people participate in the International Award each year. The International Award is currently present in 130 countries and involves 1.3 million young people on an annual basis. During the reception, The Queen’s youngest son met with the award winners and heard about the skills they developed throughout the award scheme.
On his second day in China, The Earl attended another reception for winners of the Gold standard Duke of Edinburgh International Award in Shanghai. Edward also visited Shangai’s Western International School and attended a dinner at the St Regis Hotel. The purpose of this trip is to promote the Duke of Edinburgh International Award scheme and many of the engagements are related to the programme.
On Wednesday, The Earl of Wessex also met with China’s Vice Premiere Sun Chunlan. The pair discussed opportunities for greater collaboration to secure the future of the International Award in China.
Edward spent Thursday in Shanghai, where he opened the Harrow Shanghai School. This is the fourth international school operated by the famous London boarding school, with other institutions located in Bangkok, Beijing and Hong Kong. The original Harrow School in London opened in 1572 with a royal charter given to them by Queen Elizabeth I; famous alumni include Sir Winston Churchill and the poet Lord Byron.
During his visit, The Earl participated in the opening ceremony, which was held in the main auditorium. Edward unveiled a plaque and also watched performances by the students, including renditions of the school song in both English and Chinese. Prince Edward also met pupils who have participated in the Duke of Edinburgh International Award scheme; across its six schools, Harrow currently has 500 students involved in the programme.
Today our Chairman HRH The Earl of Wessex opened the Harrow Shanghai School and met some of the school’s Award participants#RoyalVisitChina pic.twitter.com/JUJQwrnoY1
— International Award (@intaward) June 7, 2018
The Queen’s youngest son also visited the Shanghai Museum of Contemporary Art. We have no further information on this engagement.
On Friday, The Earl of Wessex travelled to Hong Kong, where he attended a reception and dinner at the Conrad Hotel in his capacity as Chancellor of the University of Bath.
At the Conrad Hotel, Prince Edward also attended a celebration held to mark his mother’s 92nd birthday; the event was hosted by Mr Andrew Heyn, Consul-General to Hong Kong and Macao, and his wife, Mrs. Jane Heyn. Inspired by the 100th anniversary of some women in the UK receiving the right to vote, the theme of the party was equality and celebrated several important milestones, including the 1976 race discrimination act in 1976 and the introduction of same sex marriages in 2013. At the event, Prince Edward helped to cut the cake, which was decorated with a Union Flag.
We would also like to thank HRH The Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex for joining us to celebrate the official birthday of HM The Queen. The Earl is visiting #HongKong in support of @DofE International Award, as the Chair of the Trustees.#HappyBirthdayYourMajesty #QBP2018 #HK
— UK in Hong Kong 🇬🇧 (@UKinHongKong) June 11, 2018
The Countess of Wessex
The Countess of Wessex began her week by attending a service of dedication at the National Memorial Arboretum. Sophie was there in her capacity as Patron of The Nursing Memorial Appeal, which was created in 2011 to remember the 1,500 nurses who lost their lives in WW1 and WW2. During Monday’s service, a permanent memorial was unveiled which lists the names of every professional and Voluntary Aid Detachment (commonly known as VAD) nurses who died in the conflicts.
Sophie’s patronage, The Nursing Memorial Association, has been fundraising for more than six years to ensure that the memorial could be created. The Association particularly wanted to remember the VAD nurses, many of whom were completely overlooked at the time due to their more temporary status as nurses. At the service, The Countess met former nurses who served during the war, including 97-year old Ethel Lote who helped to look after the first wave of injured soldiers brought home from Dunkirk.
On Tuesday afternoon, Prince Edward’s wife was present at the Childhood Champion Awards at London’s Banking Hall; Sophie was there as Patron of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (the NSPCC). THe NSPCC has long-standing royal connections, having received a Royal Charter from Queen Victoria in 1895. The Awards are held to recognise volunteers who give up their time to help make the world a safer place for children.
— NSPCC (@NSPCC) June 5, 2018
The Countess of Wessex was also in attendance at a reception held at The Royal Astronomical Society in her capacity as President of Girlguiding UK. The ‘Here Come the Girls’ event was held to encourage girls to consider careers in STEM (science, engineering, technology and maths), highlighting the opportunities available in that field and ways in which Girlguiding can help young women to develop relevant skills.
— Jacqueline de Rojas CBE (@JdR_Tech) June 5, 2018
The Countess visited another of her patronages, the Treloar Trust, to attend an event at the Treloar School and College; the event was held to thank the Trust’s various patrons. The Treloar School dates back to 1907, when London Lord Mayor Sir William Purdie Treloar, established a ‘Cripples’ Fund’ designed to create a hospital and school outside the city for children suffering from non-pulmonary tuberculosis. Queen Alexandra opened The Queen’s Fete, part of the fundraising activities. In 1908, the school was opened in Alton, Hampshire, and continues to this day.
Today, the Treloar Trust provides education, care and therapy, medical support and training in being independent to young people with physical disabilities. The School’s aim is to ensure that every student received at least one nationally recognised qualification.
During her visit, Sophie met with many of the Treloar School’s pupils, and also participated in a game of curling. The Countess was very enthusiastic, even when not playing herself – she was seen cheering from the sidelines throughout the games! The Countess of Wessex also participated in boccia, a game similar to bocce, but played by those who require a wheelchair. As well as joining the games, The Queen’s daughter-in-law was also given a tour of the school and shown its new coach – Sophie gamely jumped behind the wheel, posing for pictures with an on-board breathalyser test.
— Alastair Stewart (@alstewitn) June 7, 2018
On Saturday, The Countess of Wessex was joined by her children at the Trooping the Colour celebrations; her husband, Prince Edward, was absent as he continued his visit to China. Sophie was accompanied by her daughter, Lady Louise, in the carriage procession; the Wessex ladies shared a carriage with Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie. Louise and Sophie were then joined by Viscount James, Sophie’s son, on the Buckingham Palace balcony.
The Duke of Kent
On Wednesday, The Duke of Kent visited Sony UK Technology Centre in Glamorgan and the Head Office of Dyson Ltd. in Wiltshire. The Duke was shown around the facilities and met with senior members of staff who informed him of how each company provides a benefit to the local community. The next day, the Duke attended the Scots Guards’ Council Meeting at Wellington Barracks, in his capacity as Colonel. He also attended the Senior Colonels’ Conference and Dinner at Buckingham Palace on Friday in the same capacity.
The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester
On Wednesday, The Duke of Gloucester attended a reception at the House of Lords as President of British Expertise International. The event was also attended by business leaders and Peers. Meanwhile, The Duchess of Gloucester opened the new wing at The Lodge in Devon and visited the Exeter Support Service as Patron of SeeAbility. The charity provides support and champions better eye care for people with learning disabilities and autism, many of whom have sight loss.
Registered as The Royal School for the Blind, SeeAbility is one of the oldest disability charities in the UK and has pioneered specialist support for over 200 years.
On Friday, The Duke of Gloucester made a visit to Nothe Fort in Dorset and presented The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service to Swanage Railway.
More than 40 years of determined endeavour by several generations of dedicated #volunteers has been officially recognised with the Duke of Gloucester presenting the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Award for Voluntary Service to the @SwanRailway. https://t.co/Z6WOMNsFKt pic.twitter.com/4C3NVHCQ1R
— Swanage Railway (@SwanRailway) June 11, 2018
The prestigious Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service is regarded as the MBE for voluntary groups.
During his visit, The Duke of Gloucester also unveiled a plaque in the booking hall of Swanage station marking the Peter Manisty Award from the national Heritage Railway Association which was given to the Swanage Railway in March of this year.
The Duke remarked: “It’s a great pleasure for me to be here today and have the very pleasant task of presenting the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service which has been created to acknowledge the important role that volunteers play in our national life.
“There is a huge satisfaction both in hearing the wonderful sound of a steam engine but also in providing a public service that is extremely useful to the community.
“In congratulating you, I hope that you feel a shared sense of pride in that what you could never have done by yourself you have achieved by working together as a group of volunteers. I wish the very best of luck to the Swanage Railway.”
On Monday, Princess Alexandra attended the Final Concert of the Royal Over-Seas League Annual Music Competition at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, London. She was present in her capacity as Vice Patron of the organisation. The competition, which is in its 66th year, offers more than £75,000 in awards with a £15,000 first prize for solo performers and two chamber ensemble awards of £10,000.
On Tuesday, the Princess attended the Annual Dinner of the Royal Academy of Arts as Honorary Patron of the Royal Academy America. The Royal was also busy attending the Princess Mary’s RAF Nursing Service Centenary Thanksgiving Service in St Clement Danes Church, which was followed by a reception. The nurses of the Royal Air Force have cared for the sick and wounded of the three Armed Forces since the creation of the RAF Nursing Service in 1918.
On Sunday, the Princess started the annual sponsored walk for the West London Hospitals Holiday Dialysis Trust in Richmond Park, London.