Earl & Countess of Wessex visit Dumfries and Galloway

The Earl of Wessex, Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, and The Countess of Wessex this morning attended the General Assembly in Edinburgh. His Royal Highness, Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, and Her Royal Highness afterwards carried out the following engagements in Dumfries and the Stewartry of Kirkcudbright.

© courtesy of K Grace Rogerson

Edward & Sophie first went to the Dock Park at Dumfries, as the park has undergone a major upgrade costing around £2 million. The regeneration of the Dock Park was financed through a combination of Heritage Lottery funding and investment from Dumfries and Galloway Council. It has involved the restoration of the park’s key historic features. New facilities, including a colourful children’s play area and a Peter Pan-themed mini golf course, have also been put in place.

© courtesy of @LoriCarnITV via Twitter

The Earl of Wessex has officially opened the newly refurbished Dock Park in Dumfries. Along with the Countess they met local schoolchildren and even tried a bit of mini-golf. ITV Border’s story by Lori Carnochan including video here.

© courtesy of Dumfries & Galloway Life Team

In the afternoon TRH attended a Reception and Lunch for local charities at Easterbrook Hall, Bankend Road, Dumfries.We were very honoured to serve lunch to THR The Earl and Countess of Wessex and guests today. Such lovely people and they all left giving compliments to us on both the food and venue. We wish them well on the rest of their tour of the region.

© photo Andrea Thompson, courtesy of Dumfries & Galloway Life Team; click on pic to view full gallery

The Earl of Wessex afterwards visited Drumlanrig Castle, Thornhill, Dumfries and Galloway, to view activities of the Queensberry Initiative and was received by the Duke of Buccleuch and Queensberry (Deputy Lieutenant of Dumfries). The Queensberry Initiative is a community charity project, linking Wallace Hall Academy, its cluster primaries in Mid-Nithsdale (Wallace Hall, Moniaive, Dunscore, Duncow, Penpont and Closeburn Primaries), local businesses of all sorts, including farms and other land-based industries, local colleges and universities and third sector enterprises and the Queensberry Estate, a local country estate with extensive outdoor opportunities. Gallery here.

In the afternoon, The Countess of Wessex visited the Peter Pan Moat Brae in Dumfries. ‘Moat Brae’ is a Georgian townhouse designed by Walter Newall in Dumfries, Scotland. It was built in 1823 in the Greek revival style. J. M. Barrie, creator of Peter Pan, played in the house and garden as a child. In 2009 there were plans to demolish the house but days before it was due to be razed it was purchased by the Peter Pan Moat Brae Trust.

© photo Graeme Robertson courtesy of Moat Brae.
The Countess chats to pirates & fairies at , Birthplace of Peter Pan. Children: Loreburn Primary School.

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.jsThe Trust was established to save and restore the house and garden and to develop them as Scotland’s first Centre for Children’s Literature. To do this the Trust has to raise over £4m in total. Its fundraising campaign was launched in August 2011 by the Trust’s patron, Joanna Lumley.

© photo Graeme Robertson courtesy of Moat Brae

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js After article from Dumfries and Galloway! What’s Going On?: The Countess of Wessex visited Moat Brae – the Birthplace of Peter Pan, where she met children from Loreburn Primary School as well as those involved in creating an international visitor attraction and centre for children’s literature and storytelling. Commenting on the Countess’ visit, Dame Barbara Kelly, Chairman of the Peter Pan Moat Brae Trust said: “This was a great day for Moat Brae and we were delighted and honoured that the Countess spent precious time with us to see the project. Her interest in our achievements thus far and her enthusiasm about our future plans was most encouraging.”

© photo Graeme Robertson courtesy of Moat Brae.
Dame Barbara Kelly, Chairman of The Peter Pan Moat Brae Trust introduces The Countess of Wessex to the design team

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.jsThe Countess was given a tour of the magnificent Georgian house and stepped through the French windows into the ‘enchanted land’ where the young J.M. Barrie, author of Peter Pan, played pirate games as a child. As well as the Trustees and volunteers, she met members of the design team who recently completed the Phase A works, having saved the property from imminent collapse. Cathy Agnew, Project Director showed her the future plans for the proposed new centre for children’s literature and the Countess wrote a message of support which she placed on the ‘Tree of Happy Thoughts’ before speaking to young fairies and pirates from nearby Loreburn Primary School. She was presented with a Peter Pan pop-up book and a posy of flowers by Zak and Mhairi Smail from Noblehill Primary School.

© photo Graeme Robertson courtesy of Moat Brae.

The Countess of Wessex visited Moat Brae today and left this happy thought

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.jsHer Royal Highness subsequently visited the Electric Theatre Company, 28 Munches Street, Dumfries. Electric Theatre Workshop is the foundation organisation led by Artistic Director Graham Main, which produces high quality theatre and performance for national and international audiences, including Blood Orange, Red or Dead and Too Dirty for Words. The organisation was set up in 2011, and over 350 people a week access a broad range of performing arts workshops ranging from singing to acting. The Electric Theatre Workshop is funded by Holywood Trust, Dumfries & Galloway and Creative Scotland.

After article from Dumfries and Galloway! What’s Going On?: As The Countess was welcomed to the building – students from Dumfries High School, who had participated in the Homecoming Carnival at Big Burns Supper earlier in the year, gave the Countess a mini carnival to officially welcome her to the Electric Theatre Workshop. Graham Main, Artistic Director for Electric Theatre Workshop, said; “The Countess was really interested in the work we do, and was very supportive about us continuing to make an impact with the work we do

© photo Andy Jardine of Digital Services courtesy of Electric Theatre

She met with the young people from Dumfries Youth Theatre who presented a piece from the National Theatre Project – Connections which is going to the Royal Lyceum at the start of June. The play was about a group of six year pupils who were planning their mess up day at school. Jordan Chisholm, Associate Artist, said; “She asked the young people what a mess up day was, and she had little or no knowledge about what that was, and our young people from Dumfries Youth Theatre gave some humorous examples. She also took the time to give them some practical advice ahead of the show in Edinburgh, which was really personal.”

courtesy of D&G Befriending.UK – Reception and Lunch for local charities at Easterbrook Hall

At the end of Jordan’s piece, the Countess was extremely engaged in the content of the work, and about the impact that doing a show about mental health might have on the audience. At the end of the programme of events – The Countess of Wessex finally saw the Artistic Director; Graham Main in full flow conducting Dumfries Community Choir who sang a Coldplay song for the occasion. The Countess was introduced to the Board of Directors and Representatives from the Holywood Trust, who fund the Electric Theatre Workshop and their work with young people throughout the region.

The Earl of Wessex, Trustee, The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, and The Countess of Wessex afterwards visited the Stewartry Sea Cadets, TS John Paul Jones, Castledykes Wall, Kirkcudbright, and were received by Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of the Stewartry of Kirkcudbright (Lieutenant Colonel Sir Malcolm Ross).

In the evening Their Royal Highnesses gave a Dinner at the Palace of Holyroodhouse.

Outfit & jewellery:
Black jacket & skirt Countess wore before. I haven’t ID those pieces.
Update, finally an ID on the skirt, it is Floral Frida skirt by Erdem.
Loewe handbag
White & gold ufo earrings
J&L diamond letter charm necklace by Felt London, names of HRH’s children James & Louise, with chain in hayseed style also by Felt London.
LK Bennett Carla courts

13 thoughts on “Earl & Countess of Wessex visit Dumfries and Galloway

  1. alpa

    very pretty!
    and the locations of their trip all look beautiful.
    i've only recently found your website. thank you for helping me keep track of sophie, her fashion, and all the work she does!


  2. Future Crayon

    Do you have a date for when she first wore it? It might help me track it down. It's definitely not Erdem, Paul Smith or DKNY.

    I much prefer it worn this time around, with the black blazer and bag.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s