By Cameron McIntosh
Prince Charles will visit Durham on Thursday the 15th of February, the University has announced.
His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales will be making the trip to Durham to unveil a plaque in memory of his ancestor, Dame Elizabeth Bowes at Bowes House, which now forms part of St.John’s college.
This will be followed by a number of royal duties, including the ceremonial opening of the Open Treasure Visitor experience at Durham Cathedral, after which he will attend a University hosted concert at the Cathedral, to honour the centenary of the death of composer Sir Hubert Parry.
A rendition of the popular hymn Jerusalem, Parry’s most famous work, will close the concert, which will be attended by 350 people. The Prince of Wales will then meet University staff and students, Cathedral staff, volunteers and choristers.
Members of the public will have the opportunity to greet the Prince on Palace Green at around 1pm on Thursday afternoon, which will be accompanied by music from the County Durham Cadet band and Bugles.
The final stop on the Royal tour of Durham will be the DLI collection Gallery at Durham University’s Palace Green Library. There, Prince Charles will be given a tour of the Courage, Comrades and Community exhibition, which retells the stories of former British soldiers.
Professor Stuart Corbridge, Durham Vice-Chancellor, said: “We are very excited to be welcoming Prince Charles to Durham University and providing him an opportunity both to further enjoy the work of Sir Hubert Parry and to renew his friendship with our own Professor Jeremy Dibble.
“The large-scale rendition of Jerusalem is a spectacle we are looking forward to greatly.”
Corbridge also expressed his hope that this would strengthen the connections between Prince Charles, the University and the North-East.
The Very Reverend Andrew Tremlett, Dean of Durham, also welcomed the news of the visit. He said: ““Open Treasure, located in the most intact set of medieval monastic buildings in the UK, has transformed how we tell the story of Durham Cathedral to visitors.
“We are thrilled that Prince Charles is officially opening it and look forward to welcoming him to the Cathedral.”
Principal of St.John’s College Durham, The Reverend Professor David Wilkinson said: “It will be a great pleasure to welcome Prince Charles to St John’s College.
“We are privileged that he is taking the time to honour the life and work of his ancestor Dame Elizabeth Bowes. His visit will be a proud day in the history of St John’s College.”
Prince Charles has long connections with the City of Durham. In 1998 the Prince was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Civil Law from Durham University. His last visit to Durham came in 2012, although he was in the North-East as recently as 2015 when he visited the neighbouring city of Sunderland.
Road closures will be in place in the city centre between 9am and 2.30pm to enable the visit to take place.
Photograph: Dan Marsh via Flickr