Countess of Wessex visits Margate & Tunbridge Wells

Tunbridge Wells saw the welcome return of a royal raised in the area. The Countess of Wessex visited the town with several engagements. HRH is no stranger to the area, having grown up in Brenchley, and attended Dulwich Preparatory School and Kent College in Pembury. She also trained as a secretary at West Kent College in Tunbridge.

print screen of video

In the morning The Countess of Wessex as Patron of Royal School for Deaf Children Margate, has opened the new hydrotherapy pool, disability gym and cafe complex in Margate, Kent. Video can be found here.

His Hon. John Colyer QC, vice president and chairman of the school introduced the Countess and before she unveiled the plaque she gave a short speech. She said: “This is a new beginning for the school and is clearly embedding itself in the fabric of the local community and now a very important facility for everybody so well done to all of you, you had the vision and tenacity to carry it through.”

// good humour she also thanked the great crested newts and slow worms, which had to be removed from the site prior to building as they are an endangered species. She joked: “Unfortunately they had to be served with an eviction notice.

After unveiling the plaque the Countess was taken for a tour of the orchard project, where she met with children and volunteers who grow herbs and vegetables on side . Suitably impressed with the bounty of marrow, potatoes, corn and apples on display she suggested the next step should be to sell the produce. Read full article of HRH’s visit at Isle of Thanet Gazette with speech video.
courtesy of Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells Hospitals via their Twitter account

Later, HRH visited Tunbridge Wells Hospital as part of a World War One centenary event
The Countess has joined the Belgian ambassador and other dignitaries at the ceremony, which begun in the restored hospital chapel. It was a special ceremony to commemorate those who played an important part in war care with the unveiling of a memorial stone, which is sited on the slope above the main entrance to Tunbridge Wells Hospital.
courtesy of Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells Hospitals via their Twitter account

The two-and-a-half ton slab is inscribed with words from a letter written during the First World War.
It reads: “While our soldiers can stand and fight, then I can stand and feed and nurse them.” Hospital archivist John Weeks said: “This memorial is not to mark the death associated with war, but the way in which our hospitals cared for patients during these times.” The stone has been unveiled to mark the 100th anniversary of the arrival of the first wounded soldiers at the old General Hospital in Grosvenor Road.
courtesy of Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells Hospitals via their Facebook account

HRH joined the Belgian Embassy in presenting the hospital with a flag to mark the work done to support wounded Belgian soldiers and refugees in Tunbridge Wells during the war, to replace the one given 100 years ago. “The original flag was lost when the old General Hospital in Grosvenor Road closed, so we are pleased to take this opportunity to fly it again for the four-year duration of the war commemorations,” added Mr Weeks.
courtesy of Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells Hospitals via their Facebook account

The Countess was given a private tour of areas inside the hospital, including a gallery of World War One photograph. She was introduced to members of the trauma team who showed her how the emergency department use lessons learnt from battlefield medical treatment. Members of the A&E department also gave the Countess a tour around a specialist decontamination unit.

© David Bartholomew courtesy of Pickering Cancer Drop-in Centre

// step of the visit took place at the Pickering Cancer Drop-in Centre in Tunbridge Wells as part of the charities 10th anniversary celebrations. HRH gave a “heartfelt, warm speech” to those at the private event, according to one invited guest.

© David Bartholomew courtesy of Pickering Cancer Drop-in Centre

The Pickering Cancer Drop-in Centre is a self-funding registered charity. It was established by a group of cancer patients, who recognised the need for somewhere to go, to relax and talk with others in a similar situation. They also realised that families, friends and carers needed a place to find information and talk freely, without burdening the patient or each other.

© David Bartholomew courtesy of Pickering Cancer Drop-in Centre

The centre aims to help and support anyone going through the emotional upset of cancer, from diagnosis onwards, be they patients, their partners, children, friends, or carers. The centre offers a safe, relaxing, friendly environment where mutual support and information can be found, without the pressure of appointments or time restraints. As well as wide range of complementary therapies, such as reflexology, reiki, healing and massage; also nutritional advice, yoga and counselling. All are available free of charge. Learn more here.

© David Bartholomew courtesy of Pickering Cancer Drop-in Centre

After Pickering Centre: ‘This year we are celebrating our tenth birthday and we were delighted and honoured to have avisit from HRH, The Countess of Wessex. The planned, organised 45-minute event turned into a relaxed hour and a half. 

© David Bartholomew courtesy of Pickering Cancer Drop-in Centre

The time Sophie gave to all of the Pickering Angels, Friends and Sponsors was filled with warmth and love, tears and laughter, which is exactly what the Centre is all about. Sophie was taken on a tour of the centre by Polly, taking the time to speak to everyone and understanding that the centre does. She finished off by joining our visitors for a well earned cup of tea and cake. 

© David Bartholomew courtesy of Pickering Cancer Drop-in Centre

A delighted Polly said “Sophie was the brightest candle on our birthday cake. She gave us a day to remember and she is one of the Royal Family’s true gems and a great ambassador . Her aides were a great bunch too. Visits such as these are very important to all of the people involved in Pickering and we are very grateful.” ‘ Articles, videos: here, here, here & here.

Outfit & jewellery:
Alexander McQueen Peplum-waist coat
Heavenly Necklaces citrine earrings. Citrine colour sold out, but they have blue topaz in stock. With matching citrine bracelet that also sold out.
Clutch by Sophie Habsburg Design called Moneypenny in orange/brown.
Loewe watch that dates back to 1997 or so. Similar design here.

LK Bennett sledge pumps in nude.

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