The Chorister School celebrated its 600th Anniversary with The Countess of Wessex

Today, The Countess of Wessex visited The Chorister School in Durham – the school is celebrating 600 years since its foundation. The school is located at World Heritage Site – Grade I listed building adjacent to Durham Cathedral – one of the great buildings of Europe, set grandly on a rocky promontory next to the Durham Castle.

https://www.facebook.com/ianbritton/posts/10154241057052369?pnref=story
courtesy of Ian Britton – Premier Christian Radio Regional Producer for the North. Click on pic to be redirected & view more images of the visit.

The Countess was greeted by dignitaries including Sue Snowdon, the Lord Lieutenant of County Durham; Councillor Jan Blakey, the Mayor of Durham; and the Reverend Canon David Kennedy, Acting Dean of Durham. 

https://twitter.com/echomarkt/status/722426518069243905
courtesy of Mark Tallentire – Durham reporter; Northern Echo  & Durham Times via Twitter feed

After arrival and welcome ceremony by school’s staff and children, The Countess was taken on a tour of this historic school. Sophie saw pupils at work in Science and Design Technology lessons and at the Art Room, where children were working on a specially commissioned glass art installation in the form of a tree, for which every pupil has created a glass leaf with local artist Janet Rogers.

https://www.facebook.com/ianbritton/posts/10154241057052369?pnref=story
courtesy of Ian Britton – Premier Christian Radio Regional Producer for the North.
Click on pic to be redirected & view more images of the visit.

The Countess also had a chance to create a glass leaf for the school’s anniversary art installation by adding small glass pieces to a Union flag-themed leaf.

https://twitter.com/echomarkt/status/722426668283990016
courtesy of Mark Tallentire – Durham reporter; Northern Echo  & Durham Times via Twitter feed

The school’s younger pupils performed a Maypole dance and there was PE demonstration, whilst the older children gave a musical performance.

https://twitter.com/echomarkt/status/722427933336465409
courtesy of Mark Tallentire – Durham reporter; Northern Echo  & Durham Times via Twitter feed

Following the tour of the school, The Countess officialy opened the newly designed and refurbished School Yard and Garden, which includes a specially created labyrinth.

https://www.facebook.com/ianbritton/posts/10154241057052369?pnref=story
courtesy of Ian Britton – Premier Christian Radio Regional Producer for the North.
Click on pic to be redirected & view more images of the visit.

To conclude her visit, HRH unveiled a plaque and cut a specially commissioned cake, which has been designed as a school-memories timeline by Kelly-Ann Smith of Kelly Ann’s Cakes, a parent of one of the pupils.

https://www.facebook.com/ianbritton/posts/10154241057052369?pnref=story
courtesy of Ian Britton – Premier Christian Radio Regional Producer for the North.
Click on pic to be redirected & view more images of the visit.

According to The Northern Echo, the huge cake had numerous features highlighting elements of the school’s history, but the Countess wisely chose not to cut into the figure of Tony Blair, joking that she was not “making a political statement”. She then told Mrs Smith it was the best cake she had ever seen. Well, I must agree, it was amazing! The Countess of Wessex also signed visitor’s book and was given flowers.

https://www.facebook.com/ianbritton/posts/10154241057052369?pnref=story
courtesy of Ian Britton – Premier Christian Radio Regional Producer for the North.
Click on pic to be redirected & view more images of the visit.

Ahead of the visit, The Headmistress, Yvette Day, said: “We are delighted to welcome HRH The Countess of Wessex to The Chorister School to mark the occasion of the 600th anniversary of our foundation. This will be the highlight of our year of celebrations and it is with great excitement we will look forward to our future, and the opportunities it will afford to nurture and develop the unique experience of an exceptional education on this wonderful World Heritage Site where Durham Cathedral is our neighbour.”

https://twitter.com/echomarkt/status/722426114010968064
courtesy of Mark Tallentire – Durham reporter; Northern Echo  & Durham Times via Twitter feed

The Acting Dean of Durham, Canon David Kennedy, said: “Here at the Cathedral we are all enormously proud of the work of The Chorister School and delighted that HRH The Countess of Wessex has come to celebrate with everyone today on this special occasion, marking such an historic milestone.”

https://twitter.com/echomarkt/status/722426308756664320
courtesy of Mark Tallentire – Durham reporter; Northern Echo  & Durham Times via Twitter feed

The School was founded before the Reformation (1416) to educate the Choristers (at that time only boys) who sang in Durham Cathedral. Since then it has expanded and now offers a unique co-educational day and boarding experience to girls and boys, aged 3 to 13. Former pupils include The Right Honourable Tony Blair (former Prime Minister) and actor Rowan Atkinson, famed for his sitcom Mr Bean.

https://twitter.com/durhamcathedral/status/722140254489165824
via Durham Cathedral‘s Twitter feed

The Cathedral Church of Christ, Blessed Mary the Virgin and St Cuthbert of Durham, usually known as Durham Cathedral and home of the Shrine of St Cuthbert, is a cathedral in the city of Durham, England, the seat of the Anglican Bishop of Durham. The bishopric dates from 995, with the present cathedral being founded in AD 1093. The cathedral is regarded as one of the finest examples of Norman architecture and has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site along with nearby Durham Castle, which faces it across Palace Green.

https://www.facebook.com/ianbritton/posts/10154241057052369?pnref=story
courtesy of Ian Britton – Premier Christian Radio Regional Producer for the North.
Click on pic to be redirected & view more images of the visit.

The Chorister School will be holding further celebrations throughout the year and on 18th June a Service of Thanksgiving will be held in Durham Cathedral where Terry Waite will preach.

https://www.facebook.com/ianbritton/posts/10154241057052369?pnref=story
courtesy of Ian Britton – Premier Christian Radio Regional Producer for the North.
Click on pic to be redirected & view more images of the visit.

Article, short video & lots of great HQ pictures of the visit at The Northern Echo, click here. Another article can be found here. There also will be the radio report on Premier Christian Radio at 7:50am tomorrow on the 20th April. Update: Here‘s coverage by Christian Radio.

In other news, tomorrow HRH will be very busy touring Northumberland with 6 different engagements. Coverage at blog in due time. Also tomorrow at Sky News, 9pm UK time, you will be able to view the documentary for HM The Queen’s 90th Birthday, with a joint interview with The Earl & Countess of Wessex! Are you excited? I know I am.

print screen of Sky News doc, provided by my friend, Molly

There also will be a lovely surpise on Thursday. But for now, that’s all I can say.

Outfit & jewellery:
Sandro Valina Jacket.
Burberry London Lace Pencil skirt.
UFO earrings which debuted during visit to Plymuth. No ID.
Sophie Habsburg Beanbag in leather. Similar style but in rafia here.  
T square Tiffany bracelet.
Prada Brown Suede Pointtoe Pumps.
Watch by Longines, I believe from “Le Grande Classic” collection. 

4 thoughts on “The Chorister School celebrated its 600th Anniversary with The Countess of Wessex

  1. Claudia

    Sophie is really great on engagements, she's definitely grown into it, very much at ease, very conversational.

    I think I'd like to see her go back to her “layered bob” look, from a few years ago, there's some photos I can think of where her hair really looks stunning, very blonde and a long bob. I'll have to look them up! I like her hair back in a low ponytail but a layered bob might be better when she wears it “loose”.

    Like

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