Thursday, 23 June 2011

Princess Royal in Ulster

Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal has arrived in Northern Ireland and in the first engagement of the day has visited The Elisabeth Svendsen Trust for Children and Donkeys (EST) at its new site near Templepatrick.

Her Royal Highness was greeted by
  • Mrs Joan Christie OBE Lord-Lieutenant of County Antrim
  • Mr David Traill, Sheriff for County Antrim
  • Alderman Billy Webb, Mayor, Newtownabbey Borough Council
  • Mrs Pat Webb, Mayoress
  • The Rev William McCrea MP for South Antrim
  • Mr John Akers Chief Executive Officer, EST
  • Ms Tina Symington Manager, EST Belfast
At a reception in honour of the visit, HRH had the opportunity to meet around 70 guests representing EST, veterinary support services, local sponsors and supporters.
Her Royal Highness accepted a posy from 8 year old Miss Emily Payne from Portglenone and had the opportunity to meet other staff outside in the Donkey Barn who had gathered to bid farewell.

The Princess Royal, on the second engagement of the day, visited a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Module mobile laboratory and workshop at the North Eastern Education and Library Board (NEELB) Centre in Antrim.

HRH, worldwide President of The Mission to Seafarers, was later guest of honour at a reception hosted by the Mission at Belfast Harbour Office. 

Upon arrival HRH was greeted by
  • Deputy Lieutenant of the County Borough of Belfast, Mr Jim McDonald CBE LVO KCSG DL,
  • Alderman Ruth Patterson, The Deputy Lord Mayor of Belfast
  • Dr Ian Adamson OBE, Sheriff for the County Borough of Belfast
  • Mr Peter McNaney, Chief Executive, Belfast City Council
  • Mr Robert Ferris OBE, Chairman, Mission to Seafarers (Northern Ireland)
  • The Rev Colin Hall-Thompson, Senior Chaplin and Provincial Secretary, Mission to Seafarers 
  • Mr Roy Adair, Chief Executive Officer, Belfast Harbour.

Established in Belfast in 1860, the Mission to Seafarers now welcomes thousands of seafarers each year. The Princess Royal has a long association with the organisation which numbers her father, the Duke of Edinburgh, among its previous Presidents.

HRH launched an appeal in 1987 to help defray the costs of the new Belfast Centre, raising £107k. She also opened the new centre in 1988 and returned in May 1992 to open the Hurst Extension. The centre provides a satellite computer telephone system, a bespoke international telephone card, internet and E-Mail facilities and a ‘next-to-new’ clothes shop.

Later, in the Barnett Room, Princess Anne met around 100 invited guests attending a reception in honour of the visit.

Following a few words of thanks from Mr Robert Ferris, he invited The Princess Royal to sign the Mission to Seafarers and Harbour Commissioners’ visitors’ books prior to departure.

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