The Earl and Countess of Wessex visit to Sri Lanka – Day 2

Yesterday, The Earl and Countess of Wessex continued their visit to Sri Lanka with many various engagements. First, TRH’s visited the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic (Sri Dalada Maligawa, Sri Dalada Veediya) in Kandy. Sri Dalada Maligawa or the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic is a Buddhist temple, located in the royal palace complex of the former Kingdom of Kandy, which houses the relic of the tooth of the Buddha. The Kingdom of Kandy was an independent monarchy of the island of Lanka, located in the central and eastern portion of the island. It was founded in the late 15th century and endured until the early 19th century.

https://www.facebook.com/pg/sridaladamaligawa/photos/?tab=album&album_id=10155486937228687
photo via Sri Dalada Maligawa Facebook feed

According to Sri Lankan legends, when the Buddha died in 543 BC, his body was cremated in a sandalwood pyre at Kushinagar and his left canine tooth was retrieved from the funeral pyre by his disciple, Khema. Khema then gave it to King Brahmadatte for veneration. It became a royal possession in Brahmadatte’s country and was kept in the city of Dantapuri (modern Puri, Odisha). Since ancient times, the relic has played an important role in local politics because it is believed that whoever holds the relic holds the governance of the country. Kandy was the last capital of the Sri Lankan kings and is a World Heritage Site mainly due to the temple. To learn more, click here.

https://www.facebook.com/pg/sridaladamaligawa/photos/?tab=album&album_id=10155486937228687
photo via Sri Dalada Maligawa Facebook feed

At the Sri Dalada Maligawa, Their Royal Highnesses met Chief Lay Custodian Pradeep Nilanga Dela, Governor of Central Province Hon. Niluka Ekanayake and Chief Minister of the Central Province Hon. Sarath Ekanayake and learned from them about the significance of the tooth relic. The Royal Couple paid their respects in the inner sanctum of the Temple, where they viewed the casket containing the sacred tooth relic and received blessings. It looks like it was an interesting visit, and the place is spectacular, there are five short videos, and you will find them all by clicking here.

Afterwards, Prince Edward and Sophie visited St. Paul’s Church adjoining the Sacred Temple of the Tooth Relic in Kandy. It is an anglican church, affiliated to the Church of Ceylon. St. Paul’s Church is located in the  historical district of Kandy, Sri Lanka on sacred grounds west of the Temple of the Tooth. Construction began in 1843 and was completed in 1848. It was consecrated in 1853. The church was later enlarged in 1878 and 1928. The idea of a Church was born in 1825, when the second Bishop of Calcutta, the Rt. Rev. Reginald Heber visited Kandy in 1825 for a Confirmation Service.

https://www.facebook.com/lalantha.jayasinghe/posts/10155545445104794?pnref=story
photo via Lalantha Jayasinghe Facebook

He then noted that Sunday worship and church festivals were being held in the ancient Audience Hall of the late Kings of Kandy, which served as a church to the British garrison in Kandy and a smaller number of Ceylonese. The Bishop observed the great need for a church of their own, more appropriately sited and more suitably designed. To learn more click here. During their visit, The Earl & Countess admired The Stained Glass Window gifted by the widow of Laurence St. George Carey, a tea planter, in memory of her husband, in 1874. TRH’s also signed visitor’s book. I wasn’t able to find much info about this portion of the day.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/trinitycollegekandy/
photo via Trinity College Kandy flickr feed – click on pic to be redirected & view full gallery

Next, The Earl and Countess visited Trinity College in Kandy. Trinity College is a private school for boys in Sri Lanka founded in 1872 by Anglican missionaries, that offers primary and secondary education. Although, it was founded as an Anglican Missionary school based on the traditions of the best of the public schools in England, the missionaries took into its ambit the best of the indigenous culture. Today it is one of the leading schools with a rich heritage. To learn more about this school please click here.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/trinitycollegekandy/
photo via Trinity College Kandy flickr feed – click on pic to be redirected & view full gallery

The Earl and Countess spent time with students from Trinity College Kandy and the Girls’ High School (public girls’ School and the oldest school for girls in Kandy) and heard from them about their aspirations for the future and why they believed English language education would equip them for the challenges of working in an increasingly connected world. They also enjoyed lunch with student representatives and members of local Guides and Scouts groups. Students of the Junior School displayed their handicrafts and spoke to the Royal couple as well. For gallery of pictures, different from the one linked with pics, click here. Very detailed information about TRH’s visit can be found here.

There was also a visit to the Royal Botanical Gardens ‘Peradeniya’ in Kandy, where Their Royal Highnesses planted a myrtle tree to commemorate formally Sri Lanka’s 70th Anniversary of Independence and they unveiled a plaque to celebrate the long-standing relationship between the Royal Botanical Gardens and Britain. Queen Elizabeth visited the Gardens in 1954, and buildings within the Gardens were used by Lord Mountbatten as his headquarters during WWII. Visitors can see trees planted by generations of members of the Royal Family from more than 100 years.

Renowned for its collection of orchids, the garden includes more than 4000 species of plants, including spices, medicinal plants and palm trees. Attached to it is the National Herbarium of Sri Lanka. The origins of the Botanic Gardens date as far back as 1371 when King Wickramabahu III ascended the throne and kept court at Peradeniya near the Mahaweli river. This was followed by King Kirti Sri and King Rajadhi Rajasinghe. A temple was built on this location by King Wimala Dharma, but it was destroyed by the British when they were given control over the Kingdom of Kandy.

https://www.facebook.com/sltennis/posts/1679770702085844
photo via Sri Lanka Tennis Association Facebook feed

Their Royal Highnesses subsequently visited the Sri Lanka Tennis Association, Sir Marcus Fernando Mawatha in Colombo. The Royal Couple took part in laying of the foundation stone for the new Indoor Tennis Complex after which the plaque to mark the occasion was unveiled by Prince Edward. The Earl and Countess then witnessed four wheelchair players in action. Wheelchair tennis was re-introduced in Sri Lanka in 2001 by Suresh Subramaniam, former SLTA President (2002 to 2005). The Prince also caught up with the 2018 Davis Cup and Fed Cup teams ahead of their tournaments. For lovely gallery of pictures click here. Video of the visit can be found here. Another video is here. And one more video here. Thanks Molly for your help!

https://www.facebook.com/sltennis/posts/1679770702085844
photo via Sri Lanka Tennis Association Facebook feed

Iqbal Bin Isaack, President of SLTA said, “The British Royal Family has a history of being closely associated with tennis as patrons of the game. SLTA is the second oldest tennis association in Asia and we celebrated our centenary in 2015. SLTA is honoured by this historic Royal visit as we inherited the game from the British. The visit allows us the opportunity to gain Worldwide exposure for our wheelchair tennis that has brought immense credit to our country. The Rs. 800 million new Indoor Tennis Complex with floodlit courts will be a major leap forward for Sri Lanka’s tennis, and thankful to Mr Aelian Gunawardene of JAT Holdings in developing the new complex to uplift tennis in Sri Lanka.”

In the evening, The Earl and Countess of Wessex attended a Dinner given by the British High Commissioner to the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka (His Excellency Mr James Dauris) at the Residence in Colombo.

For gallery of pictures, visit the Sunday Leader by clicking here. Another gallery can be found at the Sunday Times, here. There was even a tiny article at Daily Mail, check it here. Another article is here. Sorry but it took really long time to put this all together. Hopefully I will have pics from visit to the garden and diner later on. For now I wasn’t able to find anything that I could use.

Outfit & jewellery:
STELLA MCCARTNEY Arlesa stretch-crepe top.
ROLAND MOURET Uppingham wide crepe trousers.
Earrings by Monica Vinader rose gold plated in Siren style and rose quartz.
Hermes Constance charm in rose gold set with 65 diamonds.
Clutch by Sophie Habsburg Design.
J.Crew Canvas espadrille wedges.

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