PRINCE Charles joined the celebrations to mark Shakespeare’s 450th birthday when he visited Stratford on Monday (June 2).
First stop for the future king and RSC president was the Royal Shakespeare Theatre where he met young people involved in the RSC’s Learning and Performance Network run by RSC Education. The Network stretches throughout the country and involves over 400,000 students and their teachers.
The Prince then watched a short performance of Henry IV Pt I by 14 young people aged 12 to 21 from the Stratford area.
It was then on to KES where the Prince was given a tour of the school’s Guildhall before unveiling a plaque to re-open the guild chapel, which has recently undergone repairs costing £250,000, and had a new organ installed complete with gold leaf pipes.
Following his visit to the school, the Prince moved on to Shottery where he officially opened the Shakespeare Hospice’s new Young People’s Services for 16 to 24-year-olds. The hospice has built a new specialist wing to cater for young people who are coping with a bereavement, young carers or suffering with a life-limiting illness.
The Prince, who is patron of a number of hospices, spoke about hospice care, saying: “We owe a huge debt of gratitude to all those who look after and make our hospices in this country such a very special feature of the kind of palliative care which is so crucial.”
He also paid tribute to volunteers and fund-raisers and “the amazing generosity of people” who donate to keep the hospice running.
Angie Arnold, Chief Executive of The Shakespeare Hospice, said: “Patients and families were delighted to meet with His Royal Highness and have the chance to talk to him. It was a great day for the hospice.”
The Prince later visited Warwick School and Warwick Castle, to celebrate their 1,100th anniversaries, before returning to the RST in the evening to see the RSC’s current production of Henry IV Part I, after which he went backstage to meet members of the acting company and technical teams.
Prince Charles signs the Shakespeare Hospice visitors’ book. (s)
Prince Charles meets Shakespeare Hospice President and celebrated actor David Bradley. (s)
The Prince chats with – left to right – Reuben Wallis, Katie Richardson, Jessica Wilson, and her mum Emma Wilson. (s)
HRH hello. (s)
HRH received a warm welcome in Stratford. (s)
The Prince enjoyed the performance by RSC’s Learning and Performance Network. (s)
Centre stage – the Prince with RSC Artistic Director Gregory Doran (white suit) and Stratford MP Nadhim Zahawi, and members of RSC’s Learning and Performance Network. (s)
Cameras, phones, and tablets at the ready. (s)