Preston Royal visit marks city's 20th anniversary

  • Published 7 September 2022

The Earl and Countess of Wessex sit on a new bench with Nick and Mags Park, the creator of Wallace and Gromit, during a visit to Preston Market Hall

The Royal couple met Preston-born Nick Park, creator of animated favourites Wallace and Gromit

The Earl and Countess of Wessex have visited Lancashire to mark 20 years since Preston became a city.

The former town was awarded city status as part of the Queen's Golden Jubilee celebrations in 2002 , external .

Prince Edward and his wife Sophie met volunteer groups, refugees and people who helped lead the Covid response across the region.

Their visit included a tour of Preston Market Hall, the city's Avenham and Miller Park and Lancaster Castle.

The couple also met Preston-born animator Nick Park, creator of Wallace and Gromit.

The pair posed on the bench made in honour of the cheese-loving TV duo, which was unveiled last year .

The Countess of Wessex meets Eimaan Azizi and her daughter Satara during a visit to Preston Market Hall

The Countess of Wessex met Eimaan Azizi and her daughter Satara at the city's market

The Earl also met Preston's Covid Response Group and spoke to city councillor Ali Brown, who explained how the group used foodbanks to deliver essentials to people isolating.

"We spoke about how brilliant the voluntary and community sector were in Preston and the tremendous response," she said.

Local resident Katheryn Fisher said she had only popped out to do some shopping when she came face to face with Prince Edward.

She said: "It was really nice to see him, what a lovely surprise. He was lovely, very nice, and he shook my hand."

The Countess of Wessex meets refugees and staff from Calico during a visit to Preston Market Hall

The Countess of Wessex met refugees and staff from Calico in the city

The Earl of Wessex talks to a local wig stall holder during a visit to Preston Market Hall, Lancashire

The Earl of Wessex spoke to stall holders at the market

Kathryn Fisher in Preston Hall Market

Shopper Kathryn Fisher said it was a "lovely surprise" to bump into the Earl

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Getting city status 'helped us move forward'

  • Published 24 May 2022

People walking past a Preston sign in front of the Harris Museum

Wallace and Gromit statue unveiled by Nick Park

  • Published 10 September 2021

Nick Park poses on bench with Wallace and Gromit statue

Prince Edward and Sophie visit Preston to mark its 20th anniversary as a city

  • Kieran Rumsby
  • 7 September 2022
  • The Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh

Returning from their summer break, The Earl and Countess of Wessex carried out their first engagement by visiting Preston.  

The royal visit coincided with the 20th anniversary of the city receiving city status. Preston was made a city in the year of The Queen’s Golden Jubilee. It became England’s 50th city during the 50th year of her reign.

Edward and Sophie visited Preston – their first engagement after the summer holidays. (@RoyalFamily)

The first engagement for the royal couple was a visit to Preston Markets, where they met some of the local traders. They toured the shops separately, taking in all the shops they came across. The Earl and Countess tried some of the local Preston delicacies – Sophie tried an oat flat-white and Edward tried some Lancashire cheese.

During the visit to the market, the Earl took the time to thank the local community who supported the city’s response to the COVID pandemic. While the Countess spoke to refugees and heard how they have been supported by the local community and chatted about their time living in the UK so far.  

The Countess of Wessex speaking to children during a visit to the market. (@RoyalFamily)

The Earl of Wessex took the time to speak to local traders at the market. (@RoyalFamily)

The Earl and Countess of Wessex then paid tribute to Nick Park, the famous creator behind Wallace and Gromit and founder of Aardman. The couple took the opportunity to pose on a special Wallace and Gromit bench, which was inspired by a Wallace and Gromit film, ‘The Wrong Trousers’. They spoke to the creator and shared a laugh as they discussed some of the animated duo’s most famous moments.

It was then on to a trip into the city centre, where the Royals visited Avenham and Miller Parks and met members of the local community, who are currently working on a regeneration programme. They heard how the local community benefit from the city’s green spaces.

? The sun was shining for #Preston today as their Royal Highnesses The Earl and Countess of Wessex visited. Visiting @prestonmarkets earlier today. they then moved on to Avenham and Miller Parks where they have taken part in the planting of a tree. #ProudPreston #RoyalVisit pic.twitter.com/N16EswjEBc — Preston City Council (@prestoncouncil) September 7, 2022

The final stop of their day was at Lancaster Castle – party of the Duchy of Lancaster – where Prince Edward and Sophie saw areas of the castle that have been refurbished. The couple also listened to some experts whose traditional skills are being used at the castle.

TRHs also had the opportunity to meet representatives from community groups, including Lancaster & Morecambe City of Sanctuary, who provide assistance to refugees, and Bay Volunteers, who have provided Covid relief support in the community.

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Home » Preston’s Royal Visit To Mark 20 Years Since Becoming A City

Preston’s Royal Visit To Mark 20 Years Since Becoming A City

royal visit to preston today

Preston will receive a Royal visit on Wednesday 7 September 2022, when The Earl and Countess of Wessex will attend Preston Market, along with Avenham and Miller Parks, as part of the celebration of the Platinum Jubilee and to mark Preston’s 20 years as a city.

As part of The Queen’s Golden Jubilee celebrations in 2002, Preston was granted city status – becoming England’s 50th city during the 50th year of Her Majesty’s reign – recognising Preston’s strong regional significance.

Mayor of Preston, Councillor Neil Darby, said: “We are honoured to be welcoming Their Royal Highnesses, The Earl and Countess of Wessex in September.

“As we continue to celebrate Preston’s 20 years as a city, we are looking forward to The Earl and Countess of Wessex’s visits to Preston Market and two of our beautiful green spaces, Avenham and Miller Parks, which have once again been awarded the Green Flag Award.

“In the year that Her Majesty The Queen celebrates 70 years as our Monarch, and The Queen’s Baton Relay passed through our parks and city centre ahead of the Commonwealth Games, we are delighted that The Earl and Countess of Wessex will be visiting our city, and we look forward to showing them some of Proud Preston’s iconic locations.”

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Royal Visit to Preston Markets

Published: 8 September 2022

Earl of Wessex visits Preston Markets

Its been two decades since Preston gained City Status. The status was granted during The Queen's Golden Jubilee back in 2002.  To celebrate, Preston's Victorian Market Hall and the award winning Avenham and Miller Parks were visited by the Earl and Countess of Wessex on Wednesday 7 September.

Proud Prestonians

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The Royal couple arrived at Preston Markets just after 11:30am where they were met by a welcoming crowd of proud Prestonians, waving British flags and eager to catch a glimpse of royalty.

The Earl was introduced to some prominent local groups such as Preston's community support champions, food bank coordinators and local faith groups. Whilst the Countess took a seat at Cherry Pie coffee shop and spoke with resettled families from Syria, Afghanistan, and Ukraine.

Meeting the market traders

The Royals were reunited within the Market Hall entrance where they began a tour of the Market Hall and spent time with each trader, asking questions about their local Lancashire produce and the Preston Market Hall which was completed in 2018. The visitors even sampled what was on offer. The Earl tried some lovely Lancashire cheeses from Pickles of Preston , whilst the Countess tasted a home cooked Jalfrezi from Chacha's Indian Street food stall .

Gail Maudsley from Sheridan's Bags and Bags said:

"We had a lovely chat with The Earl, he was very friendly. In fact, I was taken aback at how approachable he was. He asked us about our stall and how long we've been trading, and we asked him if Lady Lisa was going to university, The Earl said that she's already there. "It was an amazing experience and so good for Preston and the markets. Everyone I've spoken to says how lovely and friendly they both were." As they left the Market Hall, they were greeted by Nick Park CBE, a Preston native famous for creating the Wallace and Gromit film franchise. They chatted about the striking Wallace and Gromit bench that sits just outside the market entrance and even sat on the bench for a few fun pictures.

Visiting Preston Parks

The Royals then moved on to Avenham and Miller Parks where they met with representatives of the local business community to discuss the redevelopment of Preston City Centre. Next, they planted a tree to mark the completion of the parks £8 million restoration project, met with local sports and dance groups and finally unveiled a plaque to mark the completion of the restoration project along with 20 th anniversary of Preston's City Status.

Countess of Wessex greeting young girl

Map address for Preston Markets

Preston Markets, Earl Street, Preston, PR1 2JA.

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A look back at Queen Elizabeth II’s visits to Preston

Councillor Joseph Frederick Gray and Mrs Evelyn Gray - Mayor and Mayoress of Preston 1954 to 1955 and Guild Mayor and Mayoress 1972 to 1973. Pic: Lancashire Evening Post 1955

Queen Elizabeth II, who passed away on Thursday, visited Preston many times. She reined for over 70 years and was the longest serving monarch of the United Kingdom.

Here we look at some of the more memorable occasions when the late Queen visited the city. Images are from the Red Rose Collection, Preston Digital Archive and the Lancashire Evening Post.

The 1955 visit

The Queen visiting the Lancashire Constabulary HQ at Hutton Pic: Preston Digital Archive

The late Queen first visited Preston, as the Queen, in 1955. She had also visited Preston in 1949, when still Princess Elizabeth. In April 1955 she began a Royal tour of Lancashire, along with the Duke of Edinburgh.

Firstly, she travelled from Windsor by the steam hauled Royal Train, to Morecambe. She then went by car to Lancaster followed by Preston. Here she met the Mayor and visited the Hutton police headquarters.

There is a Pathe newsreel of the visit on YouTube .

Thomas Street, the best kept street 1955 Pic: Preston Digital Archive

The 1974 visit to Preston Railway Station

1974 and the Queen visits Preston Station Pic: Preston Digital Archive

In 1974 the Queen visited Preston Railway Station. Here she viewed the power signal box while the Duke of Edinburgh visited the B.A.C. Works, on Strand Road. She later went on to Lancaster. The claret liveried Royal train can be seen in the background of the image above. The first Royal carriage was built as early as 1842 for Queen Adelaide.

The Jubilee visit of 1977

The Queen inspecting the troops in Preston Pic: David Eaves

Perhaps the Queen’s most significant visit was in 1977, for the Silver Jubilee. She toured the country, in celebration of  25 years since her accession to the throne, in February 1952. Additionally she visited another 36 countries in three months. On 7 June street parties were held throughout the land.

The Queen in Preston Pic: David Eaves

City status in 2002

When The Queen visited Preston in 2002 to make it a city Pic: George D Thompson

As the Mayor of Preston, Councillor Neil Darby, said in his recent tribute to the Queen: “The people of Preston will forever remember her visit to the City in 2002 as part of Her Majesty’s Golden Jubilee and the honour she bestowed by granting City Status to Preston as part of her Jubilee celebrations.”

King Charles in the North West

Prince Charles, now King Charles III, has also visited the North West several times. He visited Morecambe last year, where he viewed the fire station and local businesses.

Prince Charles in Morecambe 2022 Pic: Lancs Live

Additionally, in 1981, just before his wedding to Princess Diana, he visited Preston’s Gujarat Hindu Society.

Prince Charles visits the Gujarat Hindu Society in 1981 Pic: BBC

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Preston is a vibrant city with a bustling event scene, which celebrates its diversity and longstanding cultural traditions. From popular  annual events , such as the  Encounter Festival , Central Lancashire's key cultural event,  Rockprest , the UK's largest tribute act festival, and  Egg Rolling , a large Easter tradition going back 150 years, to its varied quality offering of events and  exhibitions  taking place across the year, there's always something exciting happening for everyone to enjoy when visiting the city.

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Home / Discovery / History & Stories / Royal guests at Preston Manor

Royal guests at Preston Manor

This is a legacy story from an earlier version of our website. It may contain some formatting issues and broken links.

Her Majesty the Queen turns 91 on 21 April and so to mark this event I am looking back to a day in her younger life when she visited Preston Manor . When I give guided tours of the house people are always surprised by this fact, royalty being more associated with the Royal Pavilion .

Photo of Preston Manor front entrance

Preston Manor as it appears today

The official visit to Brighton by Her Royal Highness Princess Elizabeth, as she was then titled, took place on Tuesday 4 December 1945. This was just a few months after the end of the Second World War, and Preston Manor had only just reopened as a museum having been used as a base for Civil Defence Volunteers since the autumn of 1939. The date has long faded into history but what can we know of the events of the day?

Hasty preparations

At Preston Manor the archive contains some fascinating paper ephemera concerning the arrangements for the visit, and what jumps out straight away is the modest paperwork involved. Procedures for a royal visit today are much more lengthy and complex.

royal visit to preston today

Mayor’s letter to Henry Roberts announcing visit by Princess Elizabeth, 30 November 1945

First, a letter dated 30 November arrived from the Mayor’s Parlour at Brighton Town Hall informing the curator, Mr Henry Roberts , of the impending royal visit – a mere four days away.

Alderman Walter Clout, Brighton’s Mayor, writes, ‘Her Royal Highness has graciously consented to take tea with the Mayoress and myself at Preston Manor.’

He then goes on to invite Henry Roberts to be there on the occasion, clearly unaware that the Roberts family had their home in the house — in those days historic house curators and their families often resided on-site. ‘Please arrive at Preston Manor no later than 3.45pm.’ the Mayor writes.

Interestingly, the tea was not prepared in the house but brought in by Forfars, the well-known Brighton bakery firm which traded from 1818 until 2015.

royal visit to preston today

Henry Roberts notes on preparatons for royal visit, 1945

On receipt of the Mayor’s letter Henry quickly drew up a hand-written schedule, his usual neat handwriting becoming a hasty scrawl as he thinks fast:  ‘M takes P to retiring room before and after,’ he writes, referring to his daughter Margery, who was tasked with taking the Princess to the room given over for her private use.

‘Autograph book to sign,’ he notes and ‘some souvenirs’. We don’t know what items the Princess took away but records show the manor was stocked with guidebooks and postcards, so these souvenirs were most likely the ones given.

Fortunately Margery, then aged 37, kept a diary which she later used as reference for her 1998 memoir, A Time Remembered , telling of her years living both at the Royal Pavilion and Preston Manor.

‘The 4 th December was a Red Letter Day for Preston Manor,’ she writes, explaining that the Princess had been to review troops at the King Alfred in Hove. At this time the King Alfred leisure centre was used by the Royal Navy as a training site, having been requisitioned at the start of the war.

Following her visit to the King Alfred, the princess had visited the Royal Alexandra Hospital for Sick Children in Dyke Road, where she opened the Gillespie Wing. She also attended a concert at the Dome in aid of hospital funds. With the creation of the National Health Service still two years away such fundraising events were regular activities.

‘It was a grey December day, rather cold, not a gleam of sun,’ Margery writes. ‘Princess Elizabeth arrived at 3.50pm wearing a sage green coat, a brown velvet hat with sage green feathers and a green dress with a lace collar. She looked charming, but a little shy and her outfit was rather young for her age’.

This last comment of Margery’s is interesting and show how perceptions of age and fashions have changed. Photographs exist of Princess Elizabeth taken at the hospital and although only 19 years old her outfit strikes modern eyes as more suited to a middle-aged woman of the period than a young woman in her teens.

Margery’s report of the day is filled with incident and detail of a domestic and personal kind.

‘On arrival, after presentation, which included my parents and myself, they (the Princess and her lady-in-waiting) retired to Lady Thomas-Stanford’s sitting room which mother and I had arranged especially as a rest room.’

Today visitors to the manor can go to the room set aside for the Princess’s private use and ponder on which chair our future Queen sat, as nothing has changed in that room since 1945.

In the entrance hall Henry Roberts showed the Princess ‘a few pieces of silver and the furniture’ and ‘asked, “Are you as interested in antiques, Ma’am, as your grandmother is?” And Princess Elizabeth said, ‘well, not quite as much.’ Margery notes that, ‘at least she was honest.’

A modest scandal?

Visitors to the manor can also see the exact spot in the house where a small breach of protocol took place, reported by a scandalised Margery who takes up the story as the party were headed towards the drawing room for tea:

‘…where guests, important Brighton people, were seated at little tables around the room. As we walked along the corridor the Mayor went to put his arm round the Princess’s waist. She made no comment, but obviously stiffened.’

The following day the Mayor cheerily told Margery and her mother: ‘you know I treated her like one of my daughters.’ To which Margery replied, ‘so I noticed’, and with enough acid in her tone for her mother to chide: ‘you shouldn’t speak to the Mayor like that.’

Modes and manners have  changed much since 1945 and we live in a less formal age. However, matters of etiquette surrounding royal persons are largely unchanged. Today, as in 1945, it is not permissible to touch royalty unless returning a formal hand-shake. Walter Clout clearly got carried away with the moment, perhaps a little star-struck by the attractive young princess or, as he admits, overcome by fatherly concern. After her long cold day reviewing the troops and opening a hospital wing, Princess Elizabeth was in no doubt in need of the tea and warmth awaiting her in the Manor drawing room.

In recent times similar incidents made international news. In 1992 the Australian Prime Minister, Paul Keating, put his arm around the Queen causing much uproar. In 2012 Michelle Obama lightly embraced the Queen on a visit to Buckingham Palace, a gesture which was gently returned. On this occasion a Palace spokesman described the incident as ‘a mutual and spontaneous display of affection and appreciation.’

Margery Roberts died in 2000 aged 92 but nevertheless one can sense her astonishment at such familiarity.

Princess Elizabeth stayed exactly 65 minutes at Preston Manor, a detail provided by Margery who wrote of the short visit, ‘it was a wonderful occasion and one I shall always remember.’

On Her Royal Highness’s departure the Forfar’s staff presented an iced cake in the shape of a rose for her sister who, as Margery points out, was known as Princess Margaret Rose in those days. Wartime rationing was still in place at this time, and the sugar ration was 8oz (227g) per household per week. As an iced cake is a high sugar product this was a significant gift, and may well have been the result of each staff member donating a small quantity of sugar from their ration.

royal visit to preston today

Henry Roberts’ guest list for attendees at royal visit to Preston Manor on 4 December 1945

Queen Mary & Margery Roberts

Margery’s father was familiar with entertaining royalty whilst employed as Director of the Royal Pavilion and Brighton Museum and Art Gallery. In this role he became on friendly terms with Queen Mary who returned original decorative items and furniture to the Royal Pavilion.

Margery writes of a visit to the Pavilion by Queen Mary in 1927 noting Her Majesty’s remark, ‘I don’t want Mayors with their chains of office who know nothing about things I’m interested in. I just want to come and see Mr Roberts and talk to him’. This explains Henry’s query to Princess Elizabeth as to whether she shared her grandmother’s interest in antiques.

Phot of front cover of book, with inset photo of Roberts family

Front cover of ‘A Time Remembered’, Margery Roberts’ autobiography

Although I never knew Margery Roberts I am fortunate to be in touch with her nephew and niece who have both provided me with information about their Aunt Margery, who by all accounts was a formidable character with an imposing personality. She lived at Preston Manor until 1969 undertaking the role of Honorary Curator after her father’s death in 1951. With the theme of royalty in mind this snippet from Margery’s nephew is fitting.

‘My aunt was a tall, upright and imposing, even regal figure. She was always impeccably dressed. She loved wearing red or deep pink (known in my family as ‘Auntie Margery pink’) and was very fond of hats. Indeed, my eldest son tells me that he thought she was a member of the Royal family when he was small!’

Queen Victoria’s daughters

Preston Manor was no stranger to royalty because, as the visitor book shows, three daughters of Queen Victoria —  the Princesses Helena, Louise and Beatrice —  were periodic guests in the years before and just after the First World War. Sadly, there was no diary writing Margery Roberts in the house as these royal visits occurred when Preston Manor was still in private ownership. Today we can only guess at how days were spent by such illustrious house-guests. Princess Beatrice (1857-1944) visited most regularly and in 1914 she stayed from 17 to 22 December. The princess and her lady’s maid would have been given rooms in the west wing, the part of Preston Manor not generally open to the public but viewable on special Behind the Scenes tours.

Image of two signatures

Signatures of Princesses Beatrice and Louise from Preston Manor visitor book, 1915

Image of signature

Signatures of Princess Helena from Preston Manor visitor book, 1916

The west wing was added in 1905 as part of a general enlargement and improvement to the house, and was specifically created to provide facilities for guests at those sumptuous weekend house parties so beloved of the Edwardians. Some of the former bedrooms in the west wing are now used as offices including the room in which this blog post was written. With its attractive view south towards the lawns and trees of Preston Park I would think my office must have been the principal guest bedroom. Knowing that a daughter of Queen Victoria very likely enjoyed the self-same view on waking in the morning adds another brush of colour to the story of this surprising house.

Paula Wrightson, Venue Officer, Preston Manor

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  • Updated 16:35, 11 JUL 2024

King Charles having a joke with schoolchildren who had gathered to welcome him to Wales

King Charles and Queen Camilla have arrived in Wales today to mark 25 years of devolution. They were met at the Senedd with a guard of honour by the Royal Welsh.

Children from schools across Wales formed part of the welcoming group, as well as civic leaders as well as the Senedd's presiding officer, Elin Jones, and First Minister Vaughan Gething.

As they entered the Senedd chamber they heard music from the King's harpist, Mared Pugh-Evans. Ms Jones then give a speech, followed by the First Minister and party leaders.

READ MORE: Amazing moment primary school choir notice Prime Minister Keir Starmer was listening to them sing

In response the King said: "Looking back at the distance travelled since 1999, I hope you can feel a real sense of pride in the respect that has been earned and in the contribution that has been made to the lives of so many. Welsh minds have indeed been directed to Welsh matters and the distinct voice of Wales is heard with distinct clarity and purpose".

Two poems written by Aron Pritchard were performed, one written when he was a school pupil to mark the first official opening of the then National Assembly in 1999 and a new one written for this event were also performed. Mr Pritchard is now a member of staff at the Senedd.

Primary school students from Ysgol Treganna sang for the royal couple and were greeted with a round of applause. A video of their practice went viral after they spotted the First Minister and Prime Minister watching them.

They were then introduced to members of Senedd staff who have worked at the parliament for 25 years, or who are 25 years old and Senedd members.

Before leaving, they met members of the community who have contributed to key moments in the Senedd’s history, including the man who started a petition to charge for carrier bags, members of Wales' Youth Parliament and the ‘Any Body Can Choir’ performed in the background, which is made up of children who would not ordinarily get the opportunity to try musical activities.

The King then went on to Bridgend to visit the Sony plant as it celebrates its 50th anniversary in south Wales.

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Royal visit comes to an end

The King has left and that is the end of the royal visit today.

Just to finish with a picture that has recently been published from the earlier visit to the Senedd this morning.

royal visit to preston today

The King spoken in Welsh as he gave a speech to mark the 25th anniversary.

royal visit to preston today

Artwork to commemorate anniversary

On their annual team-building day this week, members of staff have created a piece of artwork to commemorate Sony's 50th anniversary in Wales, and 30th anniversary in Pencoed.

It is made up of paper cherry blossoms to represent Japan and daffodils to represent Wales. King Charles asked the worker if they keep having to come up with new ideas and she replied "yes, we've got to top this now next year". In response, His Majesty laughed and said, "This is the problem"

royal visit to preston today

Thrilled the King stopped for a chat

Amy-Jayne Martinson, who works as a HR advisor at the factory, was thrilled that the King stopped to chat to her while she was in work.

“I met him once before at Cardiff Castle, but I had to queue from 4am, so seeing him in work was extremely exciting. I didn’t think he would have time to stop and chat but he did, so definitely a surprise!“

She also commented that he was really interested in learning more about her work, asking her what it was like to look after so many people.

King 'super-engaged' in the work

Rob Wilson, the managing director who took the King on the tour of the factory, said that Charles kept jokingly reminding the people he spoke to that “This is my factory”, commentating on the role he had in bringing Sony to south Wales

He also kept straying off the route that had been planned to go and speak to workers. Rob Wilson remarked that His Majesty was “Super engaged and interested in the team and the jobs they were doing.”

royal visit to preston today

King meets staff of the future

King Charles is talking to some apprentices who work at Sony.

“Not too noisy” His Majesty jokes about the environment to work in, with all the machines in the background.

He also unveiled a plaque commemorating Sony’s 50th year in Wales, and signed the visitors' book, joking that his signature has "got worse" from the last time he was there.

royal visit to preston today

Children have been learning coding skills

King Charles has been learning more about the sustainability of the factory, including onsite electricity generators

“Fantastic” King Charles responded on learning that school children are welcome here Monday to Thursday to use the Raspberry Pi suite and learn skills such as coding

King Charles has stuck the Sony sticker on the 30,000th Sony camera manufactured here

King's strong link to factory

The King has also been visiting the Sony factory in Bridgend to mark its 50th anniversary in south Wales.

He was greeted by a cadet, the Mayor of Bridgend, representatives from local councils and the Japanese Embassy.

royal visit to preston today

Keith M Dunn OBE, Honorary Consul for Japan in Wales spoke of the importance of Japanese companies in Wales, employing over 6,500 workers.

He also spoke fondly of Prince Charles and credited him with bringing the Sony factory to South Wales five decades ago: “His personal involvement today is immense”

He also added, “He [His Majesty] calls it his factory”

'Have I given you an MBE?'

During their visit the Royal couple met people from the community who have contributed to its workings over the last quarter of a century including cancer campaigner Claire O’Shea, from Cardiff.

Diagnosed with Leiomyosarcoma, a rare and aggressive cancer which is now at stage 4, Claire is undergoing palliative treatment to extend her life.

She was repeatedly misdiagnosed with IBS which motivated her to engage with the Senedd, and has now launched the Claire's Campaign for policy change and progress on gynaecological cancers in Wales.As she introduced herself, the King asked her "Have I given you an MBE," to which Claire laughed and told him, "No, but you're welcome to throw one my way."

royal visit to preston today

On meeting The King she said: “I was pleased because I have been campaigning on cancer in Wales and knowing what he has been going through personally and what Princess Catherine has been going through as well I felt I could connect with them on an issue and I think that’s really helpful.

“It was very quick but really nice actually because he passed his sympathies to me and was interested in how successful the campaign was and is going and how it was going to continue.

“It was a good experience. I never imagined I’d meet the Royal family and I did not think I would ever necessarily want to do it. It is not something you really think about but I am really pleased I have done it, it was really good.”

What a week!

Bethan Mair Roberts, teaches the Ysgol Treganna choir who performed for the King and Queen.

She said. "What a week, what an experience for the children. We're so glad to celebrate 25 years of the Senedd and sing in the chamber. It's been a whirlwind, we didn't expect the performance to the First Minister.

"The children are just so happy to be in the celebration." In recent weeks they have won their Eisteddfod competition, Cor Canna's concert, sang at Capel Salem and now the Senedd chamber. "It's been a brilliant end to the term"

royal visit to preston today

'Once in a lifetime opportunity for schoolchildren'

Pupils from St Mary, The Virgin Church in Wales Primary School got to meet the King and Queen as they left the Senedd.

Nicki Prichard, who is the headteacher said: “It’s an absolute privilege. We had the phone call a week ago that said would you be interested.. I didn’t even take a nanosecond to say yes please”

royal visit to preston today

Becci Baston, the deputy head added: “It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity… To meet the King, to have him on our doorstep and in our community is so special. It’s just an absolute privilege. It’s great for our children, who are from such a diverse range of backgrounds, to come and be part of the institutions of Wales. We try to make them feel that this belongs belong to them - the Senedd and the Royal Family are part of their history too.”

Cheers for royal couple

The Queen was presented with a posy as she left the Senedd building.

Gathered crowds cheered and clapped as the couple made their way down the steps

royal visit to preston today

King meets cancer campaigner

One of the people introduced to the King is Claire O’Shea who has stage four cancer.

She set up a group called Claire’s Campaign, to amplify the voices of those who feel their symptoms were repeatedly dismissed by professionals.

The 41-year-old from Cardiff was diagnosed with uterine leiomyoscarcoma in December 2022, but the rare, aggressive cancer spread to her lungs, liver and sacrum bone within a few months.

Eaerlier this year, she gave evidence to a recent Senedd committee inquiry into gynaecological cancers.

Protesters more to different spot

The are some protesters in the crowd outside the Senedd.

They have moved to a spot directly opposite the Senedd, about 10m away from the barriers.

Members of the public who are waiting for the King and Queen are surprised by how close they have been allowed.

royal visit to preston today

Guest gather to meet the couple

Guest are gathering in the main entrance of the Senedd to meet the royal couple.

There are also crowds outside hoping to catch a glimpse.

royal visit to preston today

Queen is wearing leek brooch

We have been told that the Queen is wearing a pink coat dress by Anna Valentine and a straw hat by Lock and Co and a leek brooch.

royal visit to preston today

The couple are expected to take part in a short walkabout outside the Senedd before they leave.

Pride for their dad

Outside, the crowds are still gathered.

They include Penelope and Harriet Bird, aged seven and two, who are here to see their Dad marching with The Royal Welsh, which formed the guard of honour today. This is his first time marching for the Royal Family.

Penelope said she was excited to see the King and Queen, but was most excited to see her Dad. “I’m really proud”, she added.

royal visit to preston today

King continues his speech

The King continued: "Looking back at the distance travelled since 1999, I hope you can feel a real sense of pride in the respect that has been earned and in the contribution that has been made to the lives of so many.Welsh minds have indeed been directed to Welsh matters and the distinct voice of Wales is heard with distinct clarity and purpose".

He said, in Welsh, he looks forward to the journey still to come and said a Parliament is not worthy of the name unless there is a "difference of opinion" but says it is obvious to all who love Wales, "as we do", there are different ways to love and serve ones country. "What a country you have to serve, a unique mosaic of places and cultures."

royal visit to preston today

Adding: "If I may say so it's wonderful to see the Senedd use the Welsh language so often, not just as a symbolic act but as its foundation. The best and greatest honour is its use."

Adding: "The Senedd has become more than a symbol but essential to the life of Wales. As we look back on the last quarter of a century and long journey of our history i offer you my biggest congratulations, llongyfarchiadau iawn".

King has 'countless memories' of Wales

The King started his speech in Welsh as he greeted the presiding officer, the MSs and guests.

He said it has been his privilege to join this journey. "Thorugh it all my respect and affection for this ancient land have deepened with every passing year".

Again in Welsh, he says it is a privilege to share love with this nation. He references Prince William referencing his visit this week to Ynys Mon.

He has, he said "countless memories" of Wales.

Huge applause for choir

There is huge applause from the chamber and the public gallery for that performance.

The King and Queen join in the applause and the King turns to Elin Jones to discuss how that choir were "the winners" (referencing their Eisteddfod performance). She tells him to "follow that".

royal visit to preston today

A poem for the royal couple

After the speeches it was time for some performances.

The Presiding Officer welcomed the performers who are on the chamber floor to perform to the Royal couple.

Firstly, Ffion Fairclough who will read a poem written by Aron Pritchard about the Assembly opening in 1999 and another for this, the 25th anniversary. He will read the newer poem himself.

After Mr Pritchard finishes, the choir from Ysgol Treganna will perform, they are to the other side of the Royal couple.

'We will champion unity, dignity and progress' - Plaid leader

Plaid Cymru leader Rhun ap Iorwerth has also spoken.

He repeated words from the King in 1999 saying a young person the "spirit of hope and ambition in 1999 and sense of confidence too was electrifying".

Adding:"The Prince was entirely right to reference the strength of the roots that anchored our Assembly". He says it is those roots which have helped the institution grow."

Mr ap Iorwerth says the duty of politicians is to hold each other to account and work together where there is common ground. "We must always sow new ideas," he says. "We will champion unity, dignity and progress".

"In two years time this will become an even stronger and fairer Parliament," the Plaid leader says.

'A more mature politics has evolved' - Conservative leader

Next is Andrew RT Davies, Conservative group leader.

He says on a normal Tuesday he would be "ranting" at the First Minister but this is now a mature politics.

"There is always the usual banter and dislike of politicians but this institution in the last 25 years this insituion has endeared itself to this country".

royal visit to preston today

The Royals intently watched, laughing as Mr Davies saying that 25 years ago he was milking cows, admitting he didn't vote for further devolution but says this is where the "beating heart of devolution lies".

King has taken a 'close interest' in devolution

Vaughan Gething has given a speech and referenced how both he, and King Charles, lived in Aberystwyth University's Pantycelyn halls.

royal visit to preston today

He says that 1999 seems a "lifetime ago" and added that 25 years on from devolution in Wales, it has "evolved considerably since those early days". He says the party has adapted from the "coroprate body" to the Senedd today that can set taxes with more power, and soon an extended Senedd. "Yma o hyd is not enough, beth nesaf? [what next]."

He says part of the challenge facing the Senedd is for it to reflect the whole of Wales. "As a black person and leader of my country I know how important it is for me to open doors for people who look like me".

Mr Gething says His Majesty has taken a "close interest" in devolution and quotes his speech from the First Assembly. Mr Gething references the four people elected in 1999 still here and the experience they "still pass on".

'We’d come to build Wales and change the world'

Presiding officer Elin Jones MS has been giving a speech in front of the royal couple to mark the anniversary. She said:

In this world of artificial intelligence, I asked it this week for an answer to the question of What is the average age of world parliaments? I wanted to know how far from the average we are in Wales. Despite all we’re told of the wonders of AI, I could not get an answer. I was told that the Icelandic Parliament was the world’s oldest at over 800 years old and that a handful of parliaments came into being in this century, so younger than us. Interestingly, I was given answers to questions I hadn’t asked – the average age of world parliamentarians is 52.5 and our average here is 48. We’re younger than the world average in every sense of the word! But we have reached our Silver Jubilee. In this our 6th Senedd, only four of us remain from the Class of 99. Others from that first Assembly are here today too. Elected into that glorious unknown in 1999 – in that age of Cool Cymru, when Tom Jones and Shirley Bassey sang at our opening concert, when everything seemed possible as we began a new millenium – with our new Parliament in an old country. We’d come to build Wales and change the world, but, as with life, we were soon deflated by the mundane, and sometimes bizzare, nothing more so than our annual scrutiny of the Potatoes Originating in Egypt Regulations. Those early years demonstrated the inadequacy of our powers and the aspiration to do more. The people of Wales in 2011, by referendum, supported granting primary law-making powers to the Senedd. And we have been pioneering and ambitious in the use of those powers – in legislation for organ donation, for our future generations, and for safe nurse staffing levels. We’ve been innovative in how we do our politics, with coalitions, co-operation and joint working. We elected the world’s first-ever gender-balanced parliament in 2003 and we surprise many in our now-permanent use of remote participation and voting. We are guided in our work in this Chamber by the words of our young colleague Steffan Lewis, to always say what you believe and to believe what you say. And as we look forward to the next 25 years, our seventh Senedd will have 96 members. This chamber will be different in design, and in its capacity to scrutinise, to legislate and to govern on behalf of the people of Wales. Politicians, the class of 99 and the class of today, will come and go. In our time of service we are merely custodians, as this Senedd is in the permanent and precious ownership of the people of Wales. Ymgyrchwyd yn hir gan nifer am y Senedd hon. Mae eu breuddwydion nhw a disgwyliadau pobol Cymru heddiw yn pwyso’n drwm ar ein ysgwyddau, a’n hysbrydoli bob dydd i weithio i wella bywydau y bobol a dyfodol ein cenedl. Onwards now to our Golden Jubilee. Diolch yn fawr.

Royal couple have arrived at the Senedd

The King and Queen have arrived at the Senedd.

Throughout this year, the Senedd will be celebrating and reflecting on its 25 years and looking to the future.

Calon Lan was playing as the King and Queen are walking into the Cardiff Bay building.

royal visit to preston today

Gathering on the steps

Invited guests are now gathered on the steps including new Welsh Secretary Jo Stevens, First Minister Vaughan Gething and assorted civic leaders.

Once inside the Senedd, Charles and Camilla will meet party and parliamentary leaders.

royal visit to preston today

Schoolchildren waving the flag for Cardiff

Schoolchildren from across Cardiff have been invited along to cheer on the event.

royal visit to preston today

A choir from a local primary school, Ysgol Treganna, will also be performing.

royal visit to preston today

Noise is ramping up!

The band of The Royal Welsh have arrived at the front of the Senedd

The noise has suddenly ramped up here with lots of excited kids, lots of brass and drums, and a goat, obviously.

royal visit to preston today

'Happy coincidence' to see the royals

Anthony and Barbara Fenn, from Norfolk, are visiting Cardiff as Anthony was evacuated here during the war.

They described it as a “happy coincidence” that King Charles and Camilla are also here.

As they live fairly near Sandringham, they are used to seeing royalty but have not had the opportunity to see the King since before the coronation.

When asked about what they think the Royal Family do for the country, Anthony said: “I think they bring in a great deal of money”

royal visit to preston today

Newly-appointed harpist entertaining guests

Those inside the Senedd have musical accompaniment from the King’s newly appointed harpist Mared Pugh-Evans,.

This is her first performance in her new position.

royal visit to preston today

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Home » Travel Guides » United Kingdom » England » 15 Best Things to Do in Preston (Lancashire, England)

15 Best Things to Do in Preston (Lancashire, England)

On the River Ribble, ten miles before it reaches the Irish Sea, Preston is a former market town granted city status in 2002. In the 14th century Flemish weavers settled in Preston, establishing a textile industry that would power the economy until the mid-20th century.

Sir Richard Arkwright, the man who invented the revolutionary spinning frame in the 1700s, was born right here.

As a burgeoning industrial centre in the 18th and 19th centuries, Preston was furnished with fine squares, cultivated parks and institutions like the Harris Museum.

The Ribble Steam Railway has one of the top locomotive museums in the UK, and St Walburge’s Church has the tallest spire of any parish church in England.

Let’s explore the best things to do in Preston :

1. Harris Museum and Art Gallery

Harris Museum And Art Gallery

Preston’s city museum and art gallery is in a striking Neoclassical hall inaugurated in 1893. The first thing you’ll see when you enter is a Foucault Pendulum, demonstrating the rotation of the earth and also a working clock.

The museum has awesome collections of natural history, textiles, costumes, ceramics and other decorative art.

The art gallery is furnished with hundreds of works by luminaries of 20th-century British art like Lucian Freud, Stanley Spencer and Graham Sutherland, and has watercolours by J. M. W. Turner.

As a priority, check out the Poulton Elk, the skeleton of an Ice Age elk, dating back 13,500 years with two barbed points inserted by humans.

This is the earliest evidence of human occupation discovered in Lancashire.

Finish with tea at the cafe, which sits in the atrium and has a special view up to the museum’s Egyptian balcony.

2. Avenham and Miller Parks

Avenham and Miller Parks

Two of the Northwest of England’s most refined Victorian parks, the Avenham and Miller Parks are side-by-side, flowing down to the Ribble to the south of Preston railway station.

The pair were designed by the prominent Victorian landscape architect Edward Milner in the 1860s and are separated by the embankment for the defunct East Lancashire Railway.

The larger of the two is Avenham Park, which has sprawling lawns, a Japanese Garden and a belvedere pavilion on high ground on the northeast side.

Miller Park is more formal, and features a rose garden, intricate flowerbeds and the very refined Derby Walk, ornamented with urns and a balustraded staircase that conducts you down to a fountain and bandstand.

Make sure to get down to the river, get a look at the Victorian railway viaduct and the open moorland on the opposite bank.

3. Ribble Steam Railway

Ribble Steam Railway

On an industrial estate near the Preston Docks, the Ribble Steam Railway is a combined museum and functioning heritage railway line.

The railway uses track that laid down for the docks, and runs for just over a mile along the Ribble River to Strand Road.

In summer you can come for a ride, pulled by a vintage steam or diesel locomotive.

These operate on weekends, but also for extended periods during the summer holidays.

The visitor centre and museum at Preston Riverside is attached to the workshops, where some sixty locomotives are stored and maintained.

This is among the largest collections of steam locomotives in the UK, 13 of which are on display, including five Andrew Barclay 0-4-0STs dating from the first decades of the 20th century.

4. Church of St Walburge

Church of St Walburge

Preston’s Grade I-listed Gothic Revival church went up in the middle of the 19th century, and was built by Joseph Hansom.

He also designed the Hansom cab, which revolutionised horse-drawn transport in Victorian times.

St Walburge’s is renowned for having the tallest spire of any parish church in the country, at 94 metres tall.

Not only is it Preston’s most commanding landmark, it’s one of the tallest buildings of any kind in the northwest of England.

The interior also has impressive proportions, at 50 metres in length and with a delicately carved hammer beam roof 25 metres above the floor of the nave.

If you’re keen to know more there are free heritage tours every Saturday between 11:30 and 14:30.

5. Winckley Square

Winckley Square

One of the prettiest places in Preston is this Georgian square, intended as a residential quarter for the city’s upper crust at the turn of the 19th century.

Winckley Square is at the heart of a conservation area, and is fronted mostly by long terraces of Georgian townhouses, which are especially grand on the north and west borders.

These look onto Wickley Square Gardens, which have flowing lawns, shaded by tall old hardwood trees like birches, willows and limes.

On the east side is a statue of Sir Robert Peel (1852), the Lancashire-born MP, and two-time Prime Minister of the UK, who introduced the concept of modern policing as Home Secretary in 1822.

6. Preston North End F.C.

Preston North End F.C.

The local football club is a team with serious heritage.

Preston North End was established in 1880 and was one of the 12 Founding Members of the football league, which played its first season in 1888-89. Preston North End won both the League and the FA Cup in 1888-89, still the most successful season in the club’s history.

The Lilywhites, as they’re sometimes known, play at 23,404-capactity Deepdale in the north of the city.

This storied ground opened in 1878 and is touted as the oldest continuously used football stadium in the world.

Its pitch has been graced by greats like Tom Finney and Bill Shankly, who went on to become one of the most decorated managers of all time.

As of 2018, Preston North End play in the Championship, the second tier of English professional football.

7. Guild Wheel

Guild Wheel

The Burgesses (freemen of the borough) of Preston were bestowed the right to hold a Guild Merchant (a kind of fair) by King Henry II in 1179. From 1328 this took place every 20 years, and there was an unbroken sequence of celebrations from 1542 to 1922, spoiled only by the Second World War.

For the Guild Merchant in 2012 the city devised a 21-mile greenway, a circular walking and bicycle path linking Preston to the Lancashire countryside and villages.

A good starting point is the Preston Docks on the Ribble to the west of the city centre.

8. Preston Cenotaph

Preston Cenotaph

The designer of the UK’s iconic red telephone boxes, Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, was responsible for Preston’s monument to its First World War dead.

The Cenotaph was unveiled on Market Square in 1926 and its inscription was later revised to include those who perished in the Second World War.

The sculpture is the work of Henry Alfred Pegram who belonged to the British New Sculpture movement at the end of the 19th century.

The centrepiece is an image symbolising Victory, holding two wreaths, while at the top of the column is an empty tomb.

To underling the Cenotaph’s importance to Preston, the memorial was recently restored at large expense to mark the centenary of the beginning of the First World War.

9. Lancashire Infantry Museum

Lancashire Infantry Museum

Anyone inspired by military history should call in at this museum, which is the largest repository of regimental history in the north England.

The location is half the appeal, in the active, but soon to be decommissioned Fulwood Barracks, a group of solemn sandstone buildings built in the 1840s.

The museum charts Lancashire’s involvement in wars going back to the end of the 17th century, and is overflowing with banners, medals, weapons, instruments and curiosities.

The Waterloo Room holds the Salamanca Eagle, which is listed by the Home Office as a British National Treasure.

This highly symbolic gold standard was carried by the 22e Regiment de la Ligne and captured at the Battle of Salamanca on 22 July 1812.

10. Moor Park

Moor Park

The largest and oldest park in the city, Moor Park is north of Preston’s centre next to the Deepdale Stadium.

It is claimed to be the first municipal park established in England’s nascent industrial towns in the 19th century.

Previously this had been common land, a holdover from the Medieval Royal Forest of Fulwood.

Edward Milner was hired to redesign Moor Park in the 1860s, as a project to give employment to redundant spinners and weavers during Lancashire Cotton Famine.

The park has a lake, the Serpentine, and an observatory, constructed in 1927 and now in the hands of the University of Central Lancashire.

Go for a wander along Moor Park Avenue on the south side of the park, traced by tall lime trees and next to some of the most coveted property in the city.

11. Preston Docks

Preston Docks

When the sun is out you couldn’t pick a finer place for a walk than Preston’s long rectangular dock in the Riversway area.

The dock was opened in 1892 by Alfred, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, who was Victoria’s second son and soon to be Admiral of the Fleet in the Royal Navy.

At the time it was Europe’s largest single dock, at more than 900 metres long and 180 metres across.

There’s an Odeon cinema on the east, while to the east is the Preston Marina and the Riversway Control Centre.

On a large patch of grass here is the 100-ton crane, erected in 1958 to remove the 19th-century lock gates for restoration.

This giant mechanism still operates today, lifting larger boats from the water.

12. Brockholes Nature Reserve

Brockholes Nature Reserve

A former quarry upriver on the floodplain of the Ribble has slowly been turned into a 250-acre nature reserve, made up of pools, woodland and reedbeds.

The reserve has three designated walking trails, partly over boardwalks and installed with hides where in summer you can sight sand martins and herons among the geese and swans.

What makes the reserve stand out is its award-winning visitor village, which floats on a lake and is joined to the bank by wooden walkways.

In the village’s wooden hut-like houses, topped with solar panels, there’s a restaurant, shops, an exhibition space, activity rooms for schools and a conference centre.

13. Turbary Woods Owl and Bird of Prey Sanctuary

Turbary Woods Owl And Bird Of Prey Sanctuary

In the south of Preston, ten minutes by car from the city centre, there’s a non-profit rescue and rehabilitation centre for owls and other birds of prey.

Turbary Woods provides a habitat for more than 90 birds of prey, such as falcons, buzzards, hawks, eagles, vultures, all housed in spacious aviaries in a forest.

You’ll get the chance to see some of these birds, like falcons, hawks and owls in flight, while during the week you can attend owl and hawk experience days.

Here you can handle four different species, including a vulture if you’re brave enough, and learn the basics of falconry.

14. Forest of Bowland

Forest of Bowland

The City of Preston incorporates a parcel of this large Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The Forest of Bowland is one of the last traces of a massive expanse of wilderness that once cloaked most of Northern England.

Despite the name, most of the Forest of Bowland is heathland and blanket bog, inhabited by grouse.

People travelling from Preston city centre tend to stop at the Beacon Fell Country Park in the south of the forest.

There you can drop by the visitor centre and walk the isolated eponymous hill, which rises to 266 metres.

From the summit you can see Blackpool Tower in the west and spectacular Bowland hills like Parlick and Fair Snape Fell to the north.

15. Bowland Wild Boar Park

Bowland Wild Boar Park

While out in the Forest of Bowland you can pay a visit to this animal-oriented family attraction.

The Bowland Wild Boar Park has sheep, wallabies, llamas, skunks, red squirrels, chickens, meerkats, raccoons, coatis and of course, wild boars.

In season you can meet cute baby animals, and there’s a schedule of activities like feeding lambs, coatis, skunks and meerkats, and petting chicks.

Kids can burn off extra energy at the straw barn play area, and take tractor and trailer rides around the park for a small additional fee.

15 Best Things to Do in Preston (Lancashire, England):

  • Harris Museum and Art Gallery
  • Avenham and Miller Parks
  • Ribble Steam Railway
  • Church of St Walburge
  • Winckley Square
  • Preston North End F.C.
  • Guild Wheel
  • Preston Cenotaph
  • Lancashire Infantry Museum
  • Preston Docks
  • Brockholes Nature Reserve
  • Turbary Woods Owl and Bird of Prey Sanctuary
  • Forest of Bowland
  • Bowland Wild Boar Park
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  • Royal Family
  • Food & Drink
  • Mental Health
  • Sex & Relationships
  • Documentaries
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Royal tradition Prince William and Kate allowed Princess Charlotte to break during King Charles’ coronation

Royal tradition Prince William and Kate allowed Princess Charlotte to break during King Charles’ coronation

According to the wales', some rules are meant to be broken.

Rhianna Benson

Rhianna Benson

When it comes to the daily antics of the British Royal Family, there are seemingly countless rules they have to follow in order to keep the names out of the headlines.

Though there are some which make perfect sense - for example, addressing the monarch properly as 'Your Majesty' , or bowing/curtsying before seniors of the family - others have proven to be rather obscure.

I mean, in the last week alone, we've been blown away to know the peculiar reason why the institution isn't allowed to eat shellfish , and why the Royal ladies must wear tights on certain occasions.

And when it comes to the children of the monarchy, it seems they have their own batch of legislation to follow.

Just yesterday, Tyla broke the news of a Royal tradition which would soon be imposed on the young Prince George upon his 12th birthday , and earlier in the week, we were shocked to learn that the high-class youngsters have to obey some pretty strict rules when it comes to playtime.

Apparently, however, some members of the Royal Family see the importance of breaking these restrictions every now and again - including the future King and Queen.

Allow us to jog your memory - last year, the Prince and Princess of Wales allowed their daughter, Princess Charlotte , to break royal tradition at King Charles III's coronation.

Princess Charlotte broke convention with the help of her mother. (Samir Hussein/WireImage)

On 6 May 2023, Charles was officially made King, with celebrations in central London kicking off following a momentous ceremony at Westminster Abbey.

Those who watched the day unfold will remember Kate Middleton rocking up to the Abbey with her and Prince William's second child and only daughter , Princess Charlotte.

The pair seemingly surprised some royal fanatics at the time for their choices of headwear, with many expecting the eight-year-old princess to be donning a tiara for the special occasion.

Such ornate accessories were typically worn by other women in the royal family at similar events in the past, with Lauren Kiehna, writer of The Court Jeweller, telling People: "Tiaras were worn by nearly every royal lady at the Queen's coronation in 1953, as well lots of aristocratic women but times have certainly changed in 70 years."

Instead of opting for a tiara, however, Princess Charlotte was seen wearing a three-dimensional leaf embroidery headpiece, which seemingly matched with her mother Kate's.

The duo appeared to be matching during last year's festivities. (Yui Mok - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

The headpiece was by designer by milliner Jess Collett and Alexander McQueen and, while it contradicted earlier reports that she would go for a 'flower crown' as opposed to a tiara, it seemed that many viewers have been pleasantly surprised.

Delicately crafted from a silver bullion, crystal and finished with silver thread work - this accessory was definitely not your average hairband.

Sticking with the same designer, Kate wore an embroidered ivory silk dress by Alexander McQueen for last year's ceremony, with Charlotte having looked like a mini-me in a similar style dress, also by McQueen.

Topics:  Royal Family , Kate Middleton , Prince William

Rhianna is an Entertainment Journalist at LADbible Group, working across LADbible, UNILAD and Tyla. She has a Masters in News Journalism from the University of Salford and a Masters in Ancient History from the University of Edinburgh. She previously worked as a Celebrity Reporter for OK! and New Magazines, and as a TV Writer for Reach PLC.

@ rhiannaBjourno

  • How Prince William and Kate Middleton once broke extremely important Royal rule
  • Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis have one surprising rule they must follow at playtime
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royal visit to preston today

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Avon and somerset police have since released a statement on the matter.

royal visit to preston today

Very real reason why Zara and Mike Tindall didn’t sit with Queen Camilla at Wimbledon

The sport-loving tindalls were seen sitting apart from their aunt-in-law, queen camilla.

Prince William is seen laughing after a simulated fire response exercise during an official visit at RAF Valley

Prince William makes poignant return to Anglesey where he first lived with wife Princess Kate

The area in north wales holds a special place in the future king's heart.

Ainhoa Barcelona

The Prince of Wales took a trip down memory lane as he returned to his former air base in Anglesey, North Wales. 

William, who lived on the island as a newlywed with his wife the Princess of Wales , was stationed at the RAF Valley from 2010 to 2013 when he served as an RAF search and rescue pilot .  

On Tuesday he was given a warm welcome at the base in his new role as Royal Honorary Air Commodore, a position he took over from his father King Charles in August last year.

William and Kate in Anglesey in 2013

The site is the RAF's only station in Wales and is home to the No 4 Flying Training School, responsible for training the UK's next generation of fighter pilots. Crews at the base are also trained for mountain and maritime operations across the world.

More William and Kate

Take a look at the best photos from the visit…

prince william walking in rain with umbrella

A warm welcome

Prince William was given a warm welcome as he arrived for his official visit. Braving the rain, the royal stepped out with a smile, dressed in a navy suit, a striped tie and a crisp shirt. 

prince william smiling and laughing in rain

A light-hearted moment

Despite the grey clouds and rain, Prince William could be seen laughing as he shared a light-hearted moment with a member of RAF Valley. 

"It wouldn't feel like home if I wasn't back here on a day like this," he quipped.

Prince William talks to base personnel inside the Air Traffic Control Tower during an official visit at RAF Valley

Air Traffic Control tower

William was given a tour of the base and met personnel from across the station, who told the royal about their work and day-to-day life at the RAF Valley. 

The first stop of the day was at the Air Traffic Control tower, where William, 42, saw the control rooms and new surveillance equipment.

Prince William talks to base personnel inside the Air Traffic Control Tower during an official visit at RAF Valley

RAF Valley plans

He was also told about plans to refurbish RAF Valley's second runway in a project estimated to cost around £44million.

And looking out to Llyn Peninsula, William said: "It's a bit of nostalgia for me."

Prince William talks to base personnel after a simulated fire response exercise during an official visit at RAF Valley

Fire and Rescue Section

At the base's Fire and Rescue Section, William met crew members who work to provide year-round airfield rescue firefighting and structural firefighting cover for RAF Valley, whilst also delivering further support at the station's relief landing ground, RAF Mona.

Prince William takes part in a simulated fire response exercise during an official visit at RAF Valley

Fighting fire

The Prince took part in a simulated fire response exercise, sitting in the passenger seat of a fire truck and operating the hose to drown out the flames on an "iron hawk" jet used for practice drills.

Prince William takes part in a simulated fire response exercise during an official visit at RAF Valley

Action hero

He looked to be having great fun, taking part in the drill.

Prince William talks to RAF personnel during an official visit at RAF Valley

Warming up with a cup of tea

Next it was time for William to meet engineers, Qualified Flying Instructors, and trainees in their crew room - with a cup of tea in hand, of course.

William's mug was aptly emblazoned with his title 'HRH Prince of Wales'.

He was reunited with his former flying instructor, Captain Brian Wills, who said: "It was great, really nice to see him. The last time I saw him was 2009.

"I get asked a lot how was it training him and what extra privileges did he have, but I treated him like anybody else. He did everything exactly as anybody else would have done." 

He said the prince had stayed in touch, sending a bottle of whisky and a birthday card when he turned 50 two years ago.

Prince William presents the The Prince of Wales Award to Flight Lieutenant Jake Fleming during an official visit at RAF Valley

Presenting awards

He was also given the honour of presenting the annual Prince of Wales award to the best Qualified Flying Instructor, Flight Lieutenant Jake Fleming.

Prince William gets an introduction to a RAF Short Tucano trainer aircraft during an official visit at RAF Valley

Inspecting aircraft

Heading back outside, William was shown a RAF Short Tucano trainer aircraft.

Prince William talks to personnel of the RAF Mountain Rescue Service during an official visit at RAF Valley

RAF Mountain Rescue Service

He also chatted to the response team from the RAF Mountain Rescue Service (MRS), which is on call 365 days of the year and provides vital, life-saving support to the local area. 

Last year, the MRS were called out 25 times, often operating in severe weather conditions with near-zero visibility.

Prince William talks to members of the public during an official visit at RAF Valley

Well wishes for wife Kate

Before leaving, William had the chance to meet families of those stationed at the Valley.

He also caught up with Rita Millan, who has worked in the Thrift Shop on the base for 20 years. "We used to see him all the time time passing in his car and he used to wave," said Rita. "He said he loved coming back to visit us.

"I said to him I hope Catherine is on the mend and we're praying for her and to send her our love. He said he would tell her."

Her colleague Denise Stock added: "He said he misses it here." 

Prince William talks to members of the public during an official visit at RAF Valley

Chatting to kids

William also enjoyed a chat with a group of children, who all proudly waved Welsh flags.

He asked them their names and when one girl said her name was Charlotte he replied: "I know one of those!"

Prince William meets members of the public during an official visit at RAF Valley

Little ones

The father-of-three looked particularly taken by one baby who was snoozing in a buggy and bonded with one mother over sleep regressions.

LISTEN: The King's special relationship with the Prime Minister revealed

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royal visit to preston today

Live like a royal: From Coworth Park to Cliveden House, here are some of the royal family’s favorite places to visit in England

I t takes considerable effort for a hotel to earn its stripes as the go-to destination for the ultimate luxury traveler. But it takes even more for it to become the go-to spot for members of the royal family.

Whether it’s a pre-wedding ritual, a post-event turndown or simply an escape from the crush of London, the royals have made the following hotels their favorites over the years.

Below, The Post takes a look at the top English hotel destinations revered by members of the royal family — past and present.

Located just 45 minutes from London, Coworth Park sits on a 240-acre estate on the edge of Windsor Great Park in Sunningdale, Ascot.

This sprawling 5-star hotel is a favorite among the rich and famous — but most notably, it’s loved by Prince Harry and his estranged brother, Prince William.

In fact, the Duke of Sussex stayed here the night before his royal wedding to Meghan Markle in May 2018.

He and Prince William, who served as his Best Man at the lavish nuptials, enjoyed a night of luxurious pampering at the estate, which is nestled around the corner from the Guards Polo Club.

The brothers dined at the hotel’s well-known restaurant called Woven by Adam Smith, which received a Michelin star in October 2017.

The elegant restaurant is a tribute to exceptional British produce and serves up a variety of elegantly crafted dishes, including meats, seafood and shellfish. It also offers up some vegetarian options.

“I’m overjoyed to have reached this milestone with my driven and dedicated team, who have worked so hard, and with such passion, since we launched the restaurant,” Smith said of his first Michelin star.

This stunning white Georgian manor house is the only hotel in the UK to boast polo fields, an equestrian center and stabling.

Built as a private home in 1776, the hotel now boasts 30 rooms in the main house — each of which is equipped with four-poster beds and huge bathtubs.

Elsewhere, 40 rooms have been converted from stables, making them the cozy English countryside escape guests love to leave the city for.

The lavish manor house also features a detached, three-bedroom Dower House, which is available for exclusive use.

Needless to say, the hotel’s meadow-style gardens and grounds are manicured to perfection, and offer tranquil views that go beyond trees and greenery.

The estate was later sold in 2001 by Selfridges owner Galen Weston to the investment company behind the Dorchester Collection.

In recent years, Coworth Park has been named the best place to enjoy a spot of tea, having won the title of Best Traditional Afternoon Tea at the 2018 Afternoon Tea Awards, held in central London.

In true royal family style, Harry and William enjoyed their fair share of tea during their visit.

With its long-standing reputation as one of the most luxurious hotels in London, The Dorchester has been a staple destination within the royal family for decades.

The plush hotel, located in the heart of posh Mayfair, has been the backdrop for several notable moments in years past — and has been a special (and loved) location for the late Queen Elizabeth II and her husband, the late Prince Phillip.

In fact, Her Late Majesty — who died in Sept. 2022 at age 96 — stayed at The Dorchester when she was a princess the night before announcing her engagement to Philip Mountbatten on July 10, 1947.

The hotel, which sits next to the iconic Hyde Park, proved to be the couple’s favorite London hotspot over the years.

It’s also where Phillip held his bachelor party prior to his Nov. 20, 1947 wedding to Elizabeth II. Phillip’s sophisticated bash has been documented in a plaque at the hotel, which he himself unveiled after a refurbishment in 1990.

The Dorchester opened its doors in 1931 and has since been “favored by royalty and celebrities, hosting countless state banquets and legendary parties.”

Many members of the royal family have passed through its doors on many occasions over the years, and the late Queen famously attended her first charity ball dance there.

In true British fashion, the hotel boasts a laundry list of notable moments in history for which it had served as a backdrop.

In 1944, during World War II, Dwight D. Eisenhower stayed at The Dorchester while planning the Normandy Invasion.

Needless to say, his suite — located on the first floor of the hotel — hosted many high-profile guests, including none other than former Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill.

The luxe hotel also has notable ties to the James Bond franchise.

Roger Moore’s appointment as the “shaken, not stirred” martini-sipping secret agent was first made official on Aug. 1, 1972, during a press conference held at the hotel.

And the Vesper Bar — located at the hotel — is also home to Bond’s very first martini, which starred in Ian Fleming’s first novel “Casino Royale.”

The Vesper Martini differs from Bond’s usual drink as it uses both gin and vodka — and it’s something guests can still try to this day. Warning: it’s strong.

Dating back to the 17th century, Cliveden House is one of Meghan Markle’s favorite places to stay in the UK.

The Duchess of Sussex, 42, stayed at the sprawling Berkshire mansion the night before her 2018 wedding to Prince Harry.

And Markle isn’t the only royal who has favored this 5-star hotel, as it’s been a long-standing favorite among members of the Firm for centuries.

The Grade I-listed hotel boasts a whopping 376 acres of National Trust grounds, with stunning views of the English countryside that are guaranteed to leave guests with a great haven of calm.

The luxe estate is equipped with a stunning 5-star spa, helipad and Jacuzzi, offering lucky guests scenic views and some champagne to toast, as well as boat trips on location.

Each room is decked out with antique furniture, proving that Cliveden House is a stickler for tradition despite the ever-changing and modernizing surroundings.

Markle famously stayed at the property with her mother, Doria Ragland, the night before her nuptials at Windsor Castle, located just a 30-minute drive away.

Staff rolled out the red carpet for the former actress and the mother of the bride in May 2018.

Kensington Palace announced the pair’s decision to stay at Cliveden House just days before the wedding.

Markle and Ragland joined the likes of Charlie Chaplin, Sir Winston Churchill and the Queen Mother — all of whom stayed at the luxury hotel.

The second Duke of Buckingham built Cliveden House as a hunting lodge in 1666 for his mistress, Anna Maria the Countess of Shrewsbury.

There, he fought a duel on her behalf with her husband, the Earl of Shrewsbury, in 1668, which resulted in the Earl’s death.

In the 18th century, the estate was home to Frederick, Prince of Wales and his family.

It later became a favorite of Queen Victoria, who would travel up the River Thames from Windsor to spend quality time with her friends and fellow dignitaries there.

In the 20th century, Cliveden House hosted Queen Elizabeth II and her sister Princess Margaret. The sisters often visited the grounds with their mother.

On one of their earliest royal duties in 1938, Elizabeth and Margaret made the 5-mile journey from London to meet the Kennedys, who were staying there with Cliveden’s owners, the Astors.

At the height of their power, the Astors were one of the five great American dynasties.

Lord Astor gave the estate to the National Trust in 1942, although Astor descendants continued to live there until 1969.

It ultimately became a hotel in 1985, and now boasts 47 rooms on the property, including 15 spacious suites — one of which is aptly named the Prince of Wales suite.

As Kate Middleton’s favorite spot, The Goring Hotel has been a staple within the royal family for years.

The Princess of Wales, 42, spent her last night as a commoner in the hotel’s 1,482-square-foot Royal Suite along with her sister Pippa, and their mother, Carole.

The trio checked into the luxe hotel the night before Catherine’s nuptials with Prince William in April 2011, which took place at Westminster Abbey.

The suite was unveiled to the public earlier that year.

Princess Catherine returned to the hotel in 2015 for its grand opening post-refurbishment. To mark the special occasion, she even put the final touch on the hand-painted wallpaper in its front hall.

Guests visiting the luxury hotel are able to book the exact suite the royal stayed in, which is located on the penthouse level and boasts a “unique collection of royal artifacts, from handwritten letters and stationery to military regalia.”

What’s more, there’s even a life-size portrait of Queen Victoria on the wall to complete the “live like a royal” experience.

The 69-room hotel dates back to 1910, and is situated in London’s Belgravia neighborhood — known to be one of the most expensive areas in the city.

Amenities include an acclaimed restaurant, an upscale cocktail bar, and a terrace cafe that offers afternoon tea, plus a tranquil garden, a gym and breakfast.

It’s also a short stroll from Buckingham Palace, making it the perfect spot for royals to visit.

The Goring has boasted a close relationship with the royal family for years, and is the only London hotel that has received a special regal stamp of approval.

Queen Elizabeth II awarded the luxe 5-star hotel a royal warrant in 2013 for its hospitality services.

This means that the late monarch declared The Goring to be an official service provider for the royal family.

It was the first — and only — time in history Her Late Majesty gave the royal stamp of approval to a hotel.

While it’s not known exactly why Elizabeth chose to give The Goring a royal warrant, it could perhaps be due to its secrecy.

The hotel is famously discreet about its guests, and seldom reveals any anecdotes or stories about the famous faces that pass through its doors.

The hotel is also where Elizabeth’s mother was last seen in public before her death.

Live like a royal: From Coworth Park to Cliveden House, here are some of the royal family’s favorite places to visit in England

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See All of Queen Mary of Denmark’s Looks From Her Recent Royal Tours

Image may contain Mary Crown Princess of Denmark Clothing Pants Adult Person Footwear Shoe Accessories and Jewelry

There’s always been something inherently regal about Queen Mary of Denmark , even dating back to the early days of her courtship with King Frederik X in the ’00s. Two decades later, Mary is the first Australian-born queen in the record books and has never put a foot wrong in her royal duties, a feat only fortified by her impeccable wardrobe choices .

Now, the new sovereigns have embarked on their first State Visit from Denmark since King Frederik X’s ascension. The tour is visiting Sweden, Norway, the Faroe Islands, and Greenland, respectively, throughout the course of spring and early summer, with the Royal Yacht Dannebrog functioning as the couple's residence throughout the course of the visits.

Queen Mary’s arsenal of looks for the Swedish and Norwegian legs of the tour saw her, as always, lean into timeless tailoring, feminine silhouettes, and rich jewel tones—with a distinct Scandinavian sensibility and a healthy rotation of reworn favorites. The more recent Greenlandic visit, however, has called for warmer and more practical ensembles, not to mention the opportunity to don traditional costume.

Here, we take a close-up look at each of the monarch's outfits throughout the tour.

The Danish state visit to Greenland

On day four of the Danish royal visit to Greenland, both King Frederik and Queen Mary wore traditional national outfits, with Her Royal Highness donning a national costume called kalaalissut.

Image may contain Adult Person Fashion Clothing Footwear Shoe Transportation Vehicle Yacht Coat and People

The third day of the tour saw the royals arrive at the West Greenlandic village of Attu, where summer temperatures are, as always, chilly at best. To combat the cold, Queen Mary wore wide menswear-inspired Pirette trousers by beloved Danish brand Skall Studio, paired with a Polo Ralph Lauren cashmere cable-knit jumper in sea green. An oatmeal-hued poncho and hat completed the look, with a bear-shaped brooch to keep all in place.

Image may contain Person Walking Adult Architecture Building Outdoors Shelter Flag People Clothing and Pants

Practicality was at the forefront of Queen Mary’s dressing from the outset of the Danish royal visit to Greenland. Delivering a lesson in layering, the monarch styled a wool gilet by Dutch brand Arma over a classic Uniqlo Ultra Light Down coat and roll-neck sweater—maintaining elegance through tone-on-tone color coordination.

Image may contain Mary Crown Princess of Denmark Face Happy Head Person Smile Adult Clothing Coat and Formal Wear

For a day on the water sailing to Disko Bay in Qeqertarsuad, Queen Mary reached for another puffer in her rotation by Patagonia, which she paired with two cold-weather essentials: a Harkila jacket and Penelope Chilvers boots.

The Danish state visit to Oslo

The Danish royal couple’s second sun-dappled day in Oslo commenced with a government luncheon hosted by the Norwegian prime minister Jonas Gahr Støre in honor of the state visit at Akershus Castle. The occasion saw Queen Mary debut two never-before-seen garments: the Ariceli checked bouclé midi skirt from the resort 2024 collection of Emilia Wickstead—a British designer who remains a firm favorite amongst European and British royalty—and a light powder-blue blouse by Danish designer Jesper Hovring.

Simple and understated was Queen Mary’s style playbook for an architectural tour along the Oslo waterfront, highlighting how Danish and Norwegian solutions effectively unite nature, water, and the human experience. A masterclass in perfect proportions, the monarch wore a collarless button-down by Italian shirting brand Baguette, complemented by a pleated wraparound navy skirt. Her Gucci sunglasses, Chanel ballerinas, and Chloe crossbody bag enhanced the elegance of the ensemble.

Image may contain Haakon Crown Prince of Norway Queen Sonja of Norway Mary Crown Princess of Denmark People and Person

Following the run of activities throughout the first day of the Oslo visit, Queen Mary and King Frederik X retreated to the Royal Yacht Danneborg, before remerging for the Gala Banquet hosted by the Norwegian royal couple. Queen Mary wore a bespoke lavender gown by Danish designer Birgit Hallstein that keen followers of royal fashion will recall her wearing at the Stockholm wedding of Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia in 2015. Subtle amendments were made for its latest outing: the appliqué embroidery was removed from the skirt and delicate swathes of matching sheer fabric were added across the neckline and sleeves. Grey satin Manolo Blahnik Hangisi 105 pumps and a suite of pearl and diamond bijoux—including the Danish Pearl Poire tiara—finished the look.

Image may contain Mary Crown Princess of Denmark Harald V of Norway Person Clothing Footwear Shoe Teen and Adult

Before slipping into head-to-toe protective attire, Queen Mary II’s look was a vision of easy elegance to visit to MiNaLab, an open laboratory for students and researchers that forms part of the University of Oslo. The monarch paired her favorite wide-leg Chloé trousers with a crisp white shirt, an Anya Hindmarch Mortimer top handle bag, and Malone Souliers tan mules. A sweet detail was found at Queen Mary’s décolletage: an 18k gold necklace designed by Copenhagen-based jewelry label Halberstadt tipped with an ‘F’ for Frederik.

Image may contain Mary Crown Princess of Denmark Haakon Crown Prince of Norway Adult Person Clothing and Pants

For the Danish royal cohort’s arrival to Oslo, Queen Mary was decked out in nautical blue and white tones that complemented the waterfront arrival to Honnørbryggen to meet King Harald and Queen Sonja of Norway. Queen Mary’s entire look was a repeat of familiar and well-loved pieces from her wardrobe, from the white Ralph Lauren wool jacket, to the Erdem printed jacquard midi skirt and Max Mara Whitney bag. Her pearl and diamond earrings, wreathed with sapphires and rubies, were gifted to the monarch from Queen Margrethe II.

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The Danish state visit to Stockholm

Queen Mary's patriotic penchant for creations by Danish designer Mark Kenly Domino Tan is no secret, and this bespoke white tweed dress—which she wore on the first day of the Stockholm visit for the welcoming ceremony—is one that we’ve previously seen on rotation in Queen Mary's wardrobe.

Image may contain Mary Crown Princess of Denmark Lars Løkke Rasmussen Person Adult Accessories Formal Wear and Tie

Arriving aboard the Royal Yacht Dannebrog to the sound of cannons from Kastellholmen and Skeppsholmen, the newly-crowned monarch layered up for the crisp late morning air with a navy shawl, complementing her matching bow-embellished hat by Jane Taylor, Gianvito Rossi pumps, and a clutch by Danish brand Quidam.

Image may contain Person Clothing Footwear High Heel Shoe Hat Glove Adult Boat Transportation and Vehicle

Queen Mary later switched out her headwear for the Nell barrette by the royal favorite Ellen Hunter, while her blue brooch—an heirloom from her mother-in-law Queen Margrethe—was a mainstay accent throughout the day.

Stepping out to attend the state banquet hosted by the Swedish king and queen in honor of their Danish guests, Queen Mary donned a striking beige and burgundy ensemble by Jesper Hovring for the formalities. 50-year-old Hovring is the Danish designer behind many of Queen Mary’s gowns, which she is known to repurpose for various events year after year.

Image may contain Mary Crown Princess of Denmark Person Clothing Hat Adult Wedding Accessories Bracelet and Jewelry

In this particular instance, the Queen wore for the first time a top from Hovring’s fall 2018 collection, together with the skirt, an existing piece in her wardrobe since 2017. Finishing the look with elegance, she wore the Danish Ruby Parure Tiara, earrings, necklace, brooch, and bracelet set.

For the second day of the Swedish State Visit, Queen Mary looked particularly regal as she wore a red dress by Copenhagen designer Birgit Hallstein, a beloved garment that the royal has worn on several occasions. This time, she styled it under a camel-hued Oscar de la Renta cape, completed with Anya Hundmarch's Mortimer top-handle bag and Gianvito Rossi red suede pumps. While her accessories were not Scandinavian in design, her jewels were. Queen Mary adorned some of her favorite pieces by Danish jewelry house Ole Lynggaard: the Winter Frost earrings in 18-karat yellow gold and diamonds, and the Copenhagen leaf brooch.

Image may contain Person Clothing Footwear Shoe Adult Accessories Bag Handbag Child High Heel Glasses and Walking

The final evening of the State Visit saw a reciprocal reception hosted in honor of the Swedish hosts aboard the Royal Yacht Danneborg. For the occasion, Queen Mary took a more understated route, calling on some past favorites, including Saloni’s floral Jacqui B dress, her purple Boss clutch, and Joseph’s Kido coat, its belt cinched at the waist. Once again, Queen Mary maintained a Danish DNA in her look through her choice of jewelry, opting for gold earrings from her existing collection of bijoux by Copenhagen-based designer Rebekka Notkin.

This story was first published on Vogue Scandinavia .

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Buckingham Palace’s East Wing to open to the public for the 1st time

Fans of Buckingham Palace can now visit a previously inaccessible portion of the iconic royal estate for the first time.

Rooms inside of the East Wing at the front of the palace will be opened to the public later this summer, and TODAY's Meagan Fitzgerald got to take a sneak peak of the East Wing before visitors get to take a look behind its doors next week.

Buckingham Palace East Wing

Visitors will be able to tour the Yellow Drawing Room, where Queen Elizabeth II would sit for portraits , and can walk down the Principal Corridor lined with paintings of descendants of the Royal family.

Buckingham Palace East Wing

Fitzgerald also got to take a look at what she called "the most intriguing room of all."

"This is called the Centre Room — it is where the Royal family waits before they step out onto this balcony," Fitzgerald said. "So every time we see them out there, they were here first, preparing."

Buckingham Palace East Wing

The Royal family most recently gathered on the balcony of Buckingham Palace to celebrate Trooping the Colour , or the official birthday celebration of the monarch.

Trooping The Colour 2023

The balcony has also played an important role in the royal weddings of King Charles III and Diana, the Princess of Wales, as well as Prince William and Catherine, the Princess of Wales .

Winston Churchill, Britain's former prime minister, also celebrated the end of World War II with members of the royal family on the same balcony.

"They are walking in the footsteps of earlier generations who have used the balcony in exactly the same way," Fitzgerald said. "It’s fulfilled that very important role of connecting the sovereign and the Royal Family to the people, making them visible in a way that previously wasn’t possible."

One of Queen Elizabeth's final public appearances was on the palace's balcony at her Platinum Jubilee celebration in 2022 , and Charles would greet the world for the first time as king later that year.

Charles has pushed to make more areas of royal residences available to the public, including the opening of Balmoral Estate in Scotland for the first time in its history.

Tickets for Balmoral and the East Wing of Buckingham Palace sold out within hours, but tickets remain available for the state rooms.

When available, tickets for the East Wing of Buckingham Palace go for £75.00 ($96) for adults, £63.50 ($81) for young adults between 18-24 and £59.00 ($75) for children between the ages of 5 and 17.

royal visit to preston today

Anna Kaplan is a news and trending reporter for TODAY.com.

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One more 'Simpsons' joke becomes reality as Cypress Hill is set to play with London Symphony Orchestra

The Simpsons - 19 May 1996

It's a classic case of life imitating art.

Nearly 30 years after hip-hop group Cypress Hill agreed to appear in an episode of "The Simpsons" that featured it playing with the London Symphony Orchestra, the band will make the unlikely fictional collaboration a reality Wednesday when it plays its "Black Sunday" album in the U.K. capital.

The Grammy-nominated artists will collaborate with the world-famous orchestra at London's Royal Albert Hall when it plays hits that include “Insane in the Brain,” which is also featured in the 1996 episode. Cypress Hill appear alongside The Smashing Pumpkins in “Homerpalooza,” in which Homer tries to impress his kids by getting involved in stunts as part of the music festival scene.

"The Simpsons" has developed something of a reputation in recent years for predicting the future — it correctly called the emergence of video calling, the winner of the Nobel prize for economics and the presidency of Donald Trump — although calling the real-life combination of the hip-hop act and the orchestra a coincidence might be a stretch.

Cypress Hill has been under fan pressure for years to realize the iconic clip from the show, in which a crew member backstage at a festival calls out that “somebody ordered the London Symphony Orchestra. Possibly while high.” 

While none of the band members seems to remember either way, one eventually replies, “We think we did,” before the band plays "Insane in the Brain" complete with British orchestral accompaniment.

Cypress Hill At Wetlands

For Louis Mario Freese, one of the two lead rappers, who goes by the stage name B-Real, the performance is “one of those checklist moments.”

“It’s been something that we’ve talked about for many years since the 'Simpsons’ episode first aired,” Freese told the BBC. “We’ve played a lot of historical venues throughout our career and stuff like that, but nothing as prestigious as this.”

In 2017, the band reached out to the LSO on the social media platform now known as X, saying, "let make something happen for real.” The two groups announced the joint one-night performance at the iconic London venue in March.

On its ticketing website , the orchestra said that “history will finally be made!”

Cypress Hill has sold over 20 million albums worldwide and over 4 million copies of its "Black Sunday" album, according to BMG records .

The rehearsals have already highlighted the cultural differences between the groups, with the BBC reporting the band interpreted “glock” as a gun, while the orchestra understood it to mean "glockenspiel," the percussion instrument.

royal visit to preston today

Mithil Aggarwal is a Hong Kong-based reporter/producer for NBC News.

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