Prince Charles given warm welcome on visit to Durham
The Prince of Wales was given a warm welcome by the people of the North East when he visited one of the region's most historic quarters.
Prince Charles was in Durham today, where he officially opened Durham Cathedral's Open Treasure visitor experience, and took a tour of the exhibition for himself.
His Royal Highness also attended a concert in the cathedral to mark the centenary of the death of Sir Hubert Parry (1848-1918), who composed Jerusalem.
Introduced by Sir Thomas Allen, the world-renowned opera singer and Chancellor of Durham University, the concert featured the Durham University Orchestral Society, the Durham University Choral Society, the University Chamber Choir, the Choristers of Durham Cathedral, the Durham County Youth Choir and Sir Thomas himself.
After meeting performers, the Prince greeted members of the public on Palace Green, where he was entertained by The County Durham Cadet Band and Bugles.
The Prince also visited The Durham Light Infantry Collection Gallery at Durham University’s Palace Green Library, touring the Courage, Comrades and Community exhibition, which tells the history of the regiment through the stories of the soldiers who made it.
The Prince’s visit began earlier in the day at The Church of St Mary the Less, the chapel of St John’s College, Durham University, where he visited the memorial stone of Dame Elizabeth Bowes (1651-1736), who lived in Durham and is an ancestor of The Queen Mother, his grandmother.
His Royal Highness then unveiled a commemorative plaque in honour of Dame Elizabeth at Bowes House, her former family home, which is now part of St John’s College.
The Very Reverend Andrew Tremlett, Dean of Durham, said: “We are thrilled that Prince Charles has visited Durham Cathedral and formally opened Open Treasure.
“He enjoyed visiting the exhibition and the Cathedral enormously, and it has been an honour to host a visit from such a distinguished royal guest.”
Professor Stuart Corbridge, Vice-Chancellor and Warden of Durham University, said: “We are very proud of our students who performed in the Cathedral as part of the concert marking the centenary of the death of Sir Hubert Parry, and the rousing rendition of Jerusalem is a memory that will remain with all of us for a long time to come.”
The Reverend Professor David Wilkinson, Principal of St John’s College, said: “It was a great pleasure to welcome Prince Charles to St John’s College and Cranmer Hall.
“We are deeply grateful that he took the time to honour the life and work of his ancestor Dame Elizabeth Bowes.
“Our staff and students enjoyed meeting and chatting with him greatly. His visit marks a proud day in the history of St John’s College.”
Alex Mackinder, a Classics student at Josephine Butler College, conducted the Durham University Symphony Orchestra in the Durham Cathedral concert and met The Prince afterwards.
He said: “The concert was a pretty extraordinary experience. To have such a prestigious audience member, and such a prestigious soloist, was pretty extraordinary.”
Hayley Lam, a Music student at Hatfield College, led the Durham University Symphony Orchestra in the concert and was also introduced to The Prince afterwards.
She said: “It was great. To play some of the most rousing and patriotic music there is to The Prince – it’s been a bit of a whirlwind. It was very exciting.”