The Earl & Countess of Wessex visit Hunstanton Primary School in Norfolk.

Yesterday in the afternoon, The Earl and Countess of Wessex visited Hunstanton Primary School, in Hunstanton – Norfolk, and were received by the Countess of Romney (Vice Lord-Lieutenant of Norfolk). The visit wasn’t announced in advance, it appeared today at the Court Circular.

http://www.yourlocalpaper.co.uk/
courtesy of Your Local Paper.

I think the visit was conducted to see the two new classrooms which were built at a Norfolk junior school, as according to the articles, formerly Hunstanton Infant School (for 5-7 year old) was merged with Redgate Junior School in 2015. Both schools have shared the same head and governing body since 2009. Now known as Hunstanton Primary School is a Foundation School for 4 – 11 year old pupils.

http://www.yourlocalpaper.co.uk/
courtesy of Your Local Paper.

This year, the school has named the classes after sea creatures as they work closely with the Sea Life Sanctuary, which I wish was also visited by TRH’s. Seals are so adorable… The classes are named: Shells, Starfish, Sharks, Lobsters, Seals & Stingrays. How cute is that! I may take some inspiration for my next year kindergarten group.

http://www.yourlocalpaper.co.uk/
courtesy of Your Local Paper.

Update, even though I tried many times to get in touch with the school, I have never heard back. Then I have found a little story about the visit, at ‘Your Local Paper‘, which written that: “The countess cut a ribbon to mark the official opening of the extension to the former Redgate Junior School. The new-build has resulted in two extra classrooms and alternations to a third classroom“.

http://www.yourlocalpaper.co.uk/
courtesy of Your Local Paper.

So my suspicion regarding the visit was corrent, and on top of that, Your Local Paper has kindly shared some of the pictures of the visit with me. I strongly believe that good always comes back. So my kind thank you to the paper & lovely Donna! Also to Sharon of Norfolk office, who did try her best to help me as well.

http://www.yourlocalpaper.co.uk/
courtesy of Your Local Paper.

For full story of the visit check this link. Mrs Hitchens who works at the new school has posted a blog entry which can be found here, with few more additional pictures.

Outfit & jewellery:
Armani Collezioni Long sleeve oversized collar coat.
Grey trousers.
Earrings by Amrapali Jewels, those are not at the website.
Prada Brown Suede Pointtoe Pumps.
Clutch by Sophie Habsburg Design in Ginny Style.

HRH visited The School of Jewellery at BCU, University College Birmingham & Happy Hours Club

Today, The Countess of Wessex visited to The School of Jewellery, located in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter – largest concentration of businesses involved in the jewellery trade, which produces 40% of all the jewellery made in the UK. The School of Jewellery is part of the Birmingham Institute of Art and Design (BIAD), a faculty of Birmingham City University.

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10153362225968985.1073741903.148273903984&type=3
Official photos courtesy of Birmingham City University. Click on pic to view full gallery of HRH’s visit.

Its portfolio of courses includes jewellery, silversmithing, horology, and gemmology. It is close to the Jewellery Industry Innovation Centre (JIIC), which offers professional expertise in industry-related techniques including Computer Aided Design (CAD), rapid prototyping and surface finishing.

https://twitter.com/BCUPressOffice/status/669122938734567424
via BCU Press Office Twitter feed, HRH visiting Watch Restoration workshop.

This 2015 year the school celebrates its 125th anniversary. Since I am a huge jewellery freak, it’s one of many HRH’s visits I wish I could see with my own eyes.

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10153362225968985.1073741903.148273903984&type=3
Official photos courtesy of Birmingham City University. Click on pic to view full gallery of HRH’s visit.

During visit, The Countess has met some of the students and saw the new Technology Hub, that was designed by The Space Studio. The Hub should be completed by the end of 2015 and it was build, so The University’s gemmology department could move into new, state-of-the-art premises in the Jewellery Quarter, enabling further development of gemmological training for School of Jewellery students. You can learn more here.

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10153362225968985.1073741903.148273903984&type=3
Official photos courtesy of Birmingham City University. Click on pic to view full gallery of HRH’s visit.

The Countess has met Lauren Elizabeth Jewellery, who was invited to exhibit some of her work as one of the School Of Jewellery’s alumni. There is some beautiful work on show with the exhibition leading up to the opening of the university’s new Technology Hub.

Photo of HRH’s gift by High Sheriff WM15 Twitter feed, photo of the pendant via Rebecca Sellors Jewellery Website.

At the end of the visit, HRH was gifted with a necklace, its design reminds me of fruit of an ornamental plant, called Physalis alkekengi (bladder cherry, Chinese lantern). Of course I can be mistaken, will try to verify that. This necklace (in flore design) in 18ct White Gold and Derbyshire Blue John was made by Rebecca Sellors who studied at Birmingham School of Jewellery for three years. Rebecca graduated in 2013, receiving a First Class Honours from the Jewellery and Silversmithing BA Design for Industry Degree Course.

Afterwards, HRH has visited University College Birmingham to officially open the McIntyre House –  spectacular new centre for higher education and postgraduate study, which was named in honour of former Principal Dr Eddie McIntyre CBE.

© Paul Thomas Photographic Ltd courtesy of University College Birmingham. HRH with President of the Guild of Students Zoey Harris.

The Countess was escorted on a tour of McIntyre House, by University College Birmingham (UCB) Vice-Chancellor and Principal Professor Ray Linforth. HRH also met informally with a range of students. One of those lucky students said afterwards: “She is so friendly, she kept smiling and waving. She talked to us and wished us a good lesson. Such an unforgettable memory“.

https://twitter.com/UCBofficial/status/669140817953619969
via UCB official Twitter feed. HRH discussing Early years education with UCB students in Thinkspace.

The Countess was also invited to look at plans for UCB’s next stage of expansion, the ambitious Phase 2 redevelopment of Holland Street, which will see a former industrial site transformed into a £65 million centre for academic study, innovation and commerce.

https://twitter.com/UCBofficial/status/669145035082997760
via UCB official Twitter feed. The Countess plays pirates with young Brendon Carroll. The Countess met members of the two lecturers’ families during her tour of the Holland Street site.

The 160,000sq ft Phase 2 project, more than double the size of McIntyre House, will feature 50 new classrooms, five 100-seat lecture theatres and Skill Street, a “finishing school” comprising retail units where students will be offered real-life work opportunities. The Countess also attended a special lunch hosted by Zoey Harris, President of the Guild of Students, and chatted to student representatives from across UCB’s further education, higher education and postgraduate courses.

© Paul Thomas Photographic Ltd courtesy of University College Birmingham. HRH with former Principal Dr Eddie McIntyre CBE.

To conclude her visit, HRH has unveiled a commemorative plaque and met former Principal Dr Eddie McIntyre CBE, who said: “I am deeply honoured to have my name attached to UCB’s amazing new centre for undergraduate and postgraduate study. During my time at UCB, I was fortunate to work with an outstanding management team and a hugely supportive governing body. McIntyre House is a tribute to their unstinting dedication.”

https://twitter.com/UCBofficial/status/669177614481903616
© Paul Thomas Photographic Ltd courtesy of University College Birmingham. HRH with Anna Pargeter.

HRH was also presented with a bouquet of flowers by Anna Pargeter, daughter of Edward Pargeter – lecturer and manager of business and marketing programmes, who passed away in 2008. The coulurs of flowers represented colours of University College Birmingham. For full press release please check University’s website, by clicking here.

Later, HRH has visited Happy Hours Club located at The Elton Centre in Stourbridge to present The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Services. The Awards were created in 2002 to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee, the award winners are announced each year on June 2 – the anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation.

http://www.stourbridgenews.co.uk/news/14099954.Stourbridge_community_club_honoured_with_royal_visit/
print screen of video via Stourbridge News, click on pic to be redirected.

The Happy Hours Club offers a safe environment for local people with learning difficulties involving themed evenings, games and discos. The Countess attended a special ceremony to present Mr Fowkes and club secretary Sharon Atkins with their award.

http://www.stourbridgenews.co.uk/news/14099954.Stourbridge_community_club_honoured_with_royal_visit/
print screen of video via Stourbridge News, click on pic to be redirected.

Mr Fowkes said afterwards: “We were so honoured to have Sophie here with us today. It was brilliant to have her visit and she spoke to every individual in the room. Going around the room she spent a lot of time with every member, and she made us all feel at ease and very relaxed. She was such a lovely person. But her visit was all about thanking our helpers for the great job they do in giving up their spare time and volunteering with us. If it wasn’t for our 25 volunteers we wouldn’t be able to run the club, leaving 60 local people with learning difficulties with nowhere to go.” More information about this event & few pictures in the article by Stourbridge News. Click here.

In the evening, The Earl of Wessex, Chairman of International Special Projects of The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Foundation and The Countess of Wessex held a Dinner. Sadly, I am afraid, this event will be private and we won’t see any pictures.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HKugyOoKlnY
blurry print screen of video by Program DofE (in Czech) youtube channel. Picture taken by Fergus Burnett Photography. Click on pic to view the video

Updated: Event indeed was private, however DofE Czech Republic branch, shared a video, in which we got a glimpse of the event. It shows Lukáš Kotlár (19, he stands next to The Earl), an exceptional young man who finished the Duke of Edinburgh´s Gold Award, and was awarded by The Countess of Wessex during her recent visit to Czech Republic.

Outfit & jewellery:
Morning,
Cocoon coat by Prada.
New dress, I think, not sure on brand. Or a sweater and a skirt. The pictures didn’t reveil much.
Those gorgeous new earrings, which sadly I cannot ID.
LK Bennett Belle boots.  
Clutch by Sophie Habsburg Design in Ginny Style.
Evening,
New black peplum blouse. No ID.
Emilio Pucci Maxi crepe skirt, which debuted back in 2013 in Qatar.
Earrings, as above.
Pin/brooch, most likely for DofE Award.
 

Reception for The Healing Foundation held by HRH at St James’s Palace

Back in November 2015 (on the 23rd), The Countess of Wessex as Patron of the Healing Foundation, held a reception at St. James’s Palace, London. My post on HRH’s Patronage can be found here. Back then, the Foundation decided not to share any pictures. However yesterday, Lucy Wilson who is a Student Journalist at Sheffield Hallam University, Burn Survivor, ScarGlobal Founder & Refugee Casework Volunteer at the British Red Cross has shared a picture from that reception via her social media. That’s why I decided to share it here as well.

https://twitter.com/LucyLWilson/status/705708375309492224
via Lucy Wilson‘s Twitter feed. Here is Miss Wilson pictured with HRH & Raiché Mederick – burn survivor.

Miss Wilson has been in the media explaining her journey of recovery as a burn survivor and now is an advocate for other survivors. To learn more click here.

I wish more pictures could be shared, so we could hear more stories of often very painful & long roads to recovery by other burn survivors & people living with disfigurement (due to different reasons), in order to highlight the important job The Healing Foundation is doing…

Outfit & jewellery:
UFO dress, the navy one which debuted in NY.
Diamond studs & necklace.
I think T square Tiffany bracelet.

Wallace Collection & Moor House School evening engagements

Few updates of the past week, on the 17th November 2015 (Tuesday), The Countess of Wessex as Chairman of Women in Business (promoting The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award) held a Meeting in the afternoon.

The same evening, Her Royal Highness as Patron of the Wallace Collection attended a Dinner at Hertford House at Manchester Square in London. Sadly, events from Wallace Collection are always private, and we never see any pictures.

http://support.moorhouseschool.co.uk/news/moor-houses-development-dinner
photos courtesy of Support Moor House School, click on pic to be redirected and view more images of the event.   
HRH with the Chairman, Andrew Dick, and the Principal, Helen Middleton

On the next day, 18th November 2015 (Wednesday), The Countess of Wessex as Patron of Moor House School attended a Dinner at Saddlers’ Hall in London. HRH The Countess of Wessex attended the event as the Guest of Honour and gave the Vote of Thanks (formal expression of thanks).

http://support.moorhouseschool.co.uk/news/moor-houses-development-dinner
photos courtesy of Support Moor House School, click on pic to be redirected and view more images of the event.  
HRH The Countess of Wessex giving the Vote of Thanks

Moor House School & College held its first Development Dinner to acknolwedge and thank those who have supported school’s Development Plans. Donors, grant makers, supporters, friends, Trustees and staff came together to celebrate success in raising over £3m for school’s Development Plans.

Outfit & jewellery:
Fun Hoops from Heavenly Necklaces.
GIAMBATTISTA VALLI Embroidered lace and organza gown.
Clutch, most likely by Elie Saab from ss2014 or bespoke.
New silver pumps. Seen some glimpses of those few times.
I suspect L.K.Bennett Gold Sledge Glitterembellished Courts

HRH viewed ‘Time to See’ exhibition & attended Lord Mayor’s Appeal Grand Finale dinner

Today, The Countess of Wessex as Vice-Patron of The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust, attended the ‘Time to See‘ Photography Exhibition at Australia House in London.

© Tara Moore / The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust.

‘Time to See’ is a landmark photography exhibition which captures the human impact of avoidable blindness in the Commonwealth, and the solutions readily available. It also highlights the work that The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust (the Trust) and Standard Chartered are developing and supporting to fight these conditions.

https://twitter.com/qejubileetrust/status/662318121722736640
courtesy of Diamond Jubilee Trust Twitter feed

There are 98 million people in the Commonwealth today who are blind or have low vision, yet four out of five needn’t be.

© Tara Moore / The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust.

Throughout 2015, the world-renowned and multi-award winning photojournalists Ashley Gilbertson, Poulomi Basu, Sam Faulkner, Andrew Quilty and Adam Ferguson visited seven countries across the Commonwealth – Australia, Fiji, India, Kenya, Nigeria, Pakistan and Uganda – to document the devastating effect completely avoidable forms of blindness are having on people and communities.

https://twitter.com/AusHouseLondon/status/662357713469353984
courtesy of Australian High Commission, UK Twitter feed.

Sam Faulkner, one of the photographers have said today: “Faces explode with joy and disbelief as they regain their sight. The work of The Trust is truly inspiring […] giving someone their sight back is the most amazing gift.”

Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales were presented with images of ‘Time to See’ exhibition during Commonwealth reception held at St James’s Palace a week ago, on the 27th October.

© Tara Moore / The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust.

Time To See will be formally launched at the 2015 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Malta in November before embarking on a world tour throughout 2016.

Afterwards, as Patron of Mencap, HRH attended the Lord Mayor’s Appeal, The Grand Finale “Back to the Future” Dinner at Guildhall in London.

pictures courtesy of Mencap.

The event hosted by The Rt. Hon. The Lord Mayor and The Lady Mayoress marked the end of Alderman Alan Yarrow‘s mayoral year with a celebration of tradition and futurism in the City of London marrying together the financial powerhouses and technology titans.

pictures courtesy of Mencap.

Themed as ‘Back to the Future’, this event included a champagne reception, 3-course dinner, a live and silent auction and entertainment by the dynamic violinist quintet The Masques and The Royal Ballet School.

pictures courtesy of Mencap.

The Lord Mayor’s Appeal is an annual civic appeal which raises funds for a charity or charities of the Lord Mayor’s choosing. Mencap and fellow disability charity Scope have been chosen as the main beneficiaries of the Lord Mayor’s Appeal 2014-15. This included Mencap’s Empower Me service, where people can access advice and advocacy.

pictures courtesy of Mencap.

MENCAP is UK’s leading learning disability charity that works with people with a learning disability to change laws, challenge prejudice and support them to live their lives as they choose. My post on HRH’s Patronage can be found here.

pictures courtesy of Mencap.

Scope is a charity that “exists to make this country a place where disabled people have the same opportunities as everyone else. Until then, we’ll be here”.

Outfit & jewellery:
New, Valentino frill trim skater dress.
Earrings by Amrapali Jewels, those are not at the website.
Pendant which debuted during fundrasing dinner with Prince Albert. For now no ID.
Buckley Sparkle London poppy brooch in support of The Royal British Legion.
LK Bennett Harley pumps in black suede.
Clutch, most likely by Elie Saab from ss2014 or bespoke.

HRH held a lunch for Meningitis Now & attended dinner in support of NSPCC

Today The Countess of Wessex as Patron of Meningitis Now has held a Lunch at Bagshot Park. It’s not the first time for Sophie to hold an event in support of HRH’s Patronages at her home.
In the evening, The Countess as President of National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, attended a Dinner at Loseley Park, Guildford, Surrey. For now I have nothing to share. I believe lunch was a private affair, not sure on the evening dinner. Will be keeping you updated.
https://twitter.com/SiobhanCoadyNL/status/661676991477886976
via Siobhan Coady‘s Twitter feed
Also, I wanted to note that Prince Edward was in Canada with a very busy schedule of engagements, HRH has carried out 45 engagements over 8 days. Here‘s lovely little article with video.

The Countess & Prince Albert attended The Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation Dinner in honour of Winston Churchill

Today in the evening, The Countess of Wessex and Prince Albert II of Monaco, attended a fundraising soirée to the benefit of His foundation. The event took place in the premises of the famous Sotheby’s auction house. Upon their arrival, TRH’s were greeted by Evelyne Genta – Ambassador of Monaco and Prince Alwaleedbin Talal Al Saud – a Saudi business magnate and investor. This event was held under the theme of “Sir Winston Churchill and Monte Carlo” in the presence of prestigious guests including Sir Nicholas Soames (Winston Churchill’s grandson).

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1123531827659355.1073742054.286449344700945&type=3
© Photo by Pascal Le Segretain / Getty Images courtesy of Palais Princier de Monaco – Prince’s Palace of Monaco. Click on pic to be redirected and view full gallery.

Before the dinner and the auction started, Prince Albert made Prince Alwaleed “Grand Officier dans l’Ordre de Grimaldi”. It’s an Order established in Monaco on 18 November 1954, which is awarded to people who have contributed to the prestige of the Principality with distinction. As the Order rewards personal service to the Sovereign Prince of Monaco, it is awarded on the sole discretion of the Grand-Master, currently Albert II, Prince of Monaco. This fundraising event was attended by 240 guests, who came from all over the world and was organized for the FPA2 (Fondation Prince Albert II) by Mrs Evelyne Genta, Ambassador of Monaco in London.

Prince Albert II of Monaco, set up the Foundation whose purpose is to protect the environment and to encourage sustainable development. By definition, this is a common global challenge that requires urgent and concrete action in response to three major environmental issues: climate change, biodiversity and water. Zimbio gallery can be found here.

Outfit & jewellery:
ERDEM Embroidered cropped jacket with Erdem Shirlette embroidered organza and matelassé dress. This duo debuted in Qatar.
New jewellery, earrings and necklace.
Sophie Habsburg clutch in Amber style.
Dior assymetric pointed-toe pump in black suede with graded heel.
Watch by Longines, I believe from “Le Grande Classic” collection.  

HRH attends Families’ Day and the Trafalgar Dinner on board HMS DARING

Today, The Countess of Wessex as Lady Sponsor, attended Families’ Day and the Trafalgar Dinner on board HMS DARING in Portsmouth, Hampshire. Here‘s my post on HRH’s sponsorship. After press release: “Type 45 destroyer HMS Daring showed off her prowess to The Countess of Wessex – the ship’s sponsor who launched the ship in 2006”.

https://www.facebook.com/168937285403/photos/pcb.10153099388695404/10153099386800404/?type=3
Photo LA (Phot) Nicky Wilson via Navy News. HRH with children, Lady Louise & Viscount James

“The Countess, accompanied by her children James, Viscount Severn and Lady Louise Windsor, was special guest at the ship’s families day, joining dozens of friends and loved ones of Daring’s 190 ship’s company who were treated to tours and displays of her hi-tech capability”.

https://www.facebook.com/168937285403/photos/pcb.10153099388695404/10153099386870404/?type=3&permPage=1
Photo LA (Phot) Nicky Wilson via Navy News.

“The royal guests pretended to fight a fire, tried out the captain’s chair on the bridge and donned headsets in the operations room – the fighting heart of the ship”. During lunch (with the crew & their families) the music was provided by The Countess of Wessex’s String Orchestra. HRH attended a ceremony and lunch to present the ship’s captain with a sword of honour for the support HMS Daring provided as part of the UK’s emergency response to Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines in 2013. 

https://www.facebook.com/168937285403/photos/pcb.10153099388695404/10153099387740404/?type=3&permPage=1
Photo LA (Phot) Nicky Wilson via Navy News.

The Countess returned in the evening for a Trafalgar Night dinner on board HMS Daring. For full article click here. Such event is held to celebrate the anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar and to commemorate the memory of Admiral Lord Nelson.

Royal Navy/Mod Crown Copyright.

Back in October 2013, The Countess of Wessex and Prince Edward attended Dinner to commemorate the Two Hundred and Eighth Anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar on board HMS VICTORY.

Outfit & jewellery:
Joseph Nessie jacket seen for the first time in 2011.
Most likely black dress. Not sure which one, could be Prada short dress with gold buttons.
Earrings by Amrapali Jewels, those are not at the website.
Beauchamps of London, Codrington Clutch – Navy EXOTIC Python Print Calf Suede.
For the evening The Countess wore Mary Katrantzou Blue Lamur Paisley And Lace Midi Dress.
Dior assymetric pointed-toe pump in black suede with graded heel.
Watch by Longines, I believe from “Le Grande Classic” collection.  
Earrings as above. 

The Countess of Wessex attended Women of the Future Summit & Awards

Today, The Countess of Wessex attended the Women of the Future Summit at the London Hilton on Park Lane in London. The theme of the Summit was “COLLABORATION” with the main objective to bring together innovators of today and tomorrow to explore the evolving values relevant to the next generation of female leaders.

© Erroll Jones, We Shoot London Photography; courtesy of The Women of the Future.

This event was attended by over 300 delegates over a range of UK businesses, companies and functions. For the Summit, the speakers were: Claire Calmejane, Lloyds Banking Group, Lily Lapeena, MyBnk and Rebecca Yang, IPCN.

https://twitter.com/LIPSPEAKER/status/659030984483086337
courtesy of LIPSPEAKER UK – Specialist supplier of lipspeaking professionals for deaf, deafened and hard of hearing people.

The Women of the Future Network is an exclusive network of high-achieving and high-potential UK businesswomen. It enables this remarkable community to come together regularly, share experiences, inspire one another and build business relationships.

https://twitter.com/KemeshaKelly_/status/659028287025496064
courtesy of Kemesha Kelly.

The summit was being run in collaboration with Wilton Park and supported by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the United Kingdom. It was a 4-day programme starting on Monday October 26th which culminated in a formal Tea at Buckingham Palace on October 29th.

© Erroll Jones, We Shoot London Photography; courtesy of The Women of the Future.

The Women of the Future Summit is a forum for future women leaders. The Summit brings together innovators of today and tomorrow to explore the evolving values relevant to the next generation of leaders. The Countess also attended ‘The Women of The Future’ Summit back in May 2012.

In the evening HRH attended the Women of the Future Awards Dinner at the London Hilton on Park Lane in London.

© Erroll Jones, We Shoot London Photography; courtesy of The Women of the Future.
HRH with Jackie Scully, Think and Xavier Rolet, CEO, London Stock Exchange Group.

The Women of the Future Awards are the platform for successful young women in Britain.The Awards were founded by Pinky Lilani CBE DL in 2006, to provide a platform for the pipeline of female talent in the UK.

© Erroll Jones, We Shoot London Photography; courtesy of The Women of the Future.

Foreign & Commonwealth Office: “This year is special for Women of the Future Summit & Awards as it celebrates 10 years of its existence. This was commemorated by a ‘10 years 10 stories’ momento book to tell the stories of some extraordinary women”.

https://twitter.com/nicolerolet/status/659139693376835584
courtesy of Nicole Sierra Rolet via Twitter feed

Pinky Lilani CBE DL said: “We created the Women of the Future Awards in 2006 and it has become an incredibly powerful and exciting venture. Young women are shaping the future of Britain with immense energy dedication and flair. These awards recognise the sparkling younger generation of talent in Britain today.”

https://www.facebook.com/Drieverywhere/photos/a.118505011578458.21728.112073942221565/892609820834636/?type=3
courtesy of Dri Everywhere via Facebook feed

Awards were handed out to women in business, entrepreneurism, technology & digital, science, arts & culture, media, community spirits, professional, real estate, infrastructure & construction, MBA star, sport, young star, corporate and mentor.

Outfit & jewellery:
For the summit:
Sandro Valina Jacket with trousers.
UFO earrings which debuted during visit to Plymuth. No ID.

For the Awards:
New Emilio Pucci lace peplum blouse with matching skirt.
Earrings which debuted in Qatar, most likely Pomegranate London Chalcedony 3 Drop Earrings.
Sophie Habsburg clutch in Amber style. I think in beige.

HRH visited Vispring, Headway Devon & Two Moors Festival’s performance of Tarka the Otter

With apologies for delay with this post, but yesterday I was late from work, very late indeed and nothing was shared about HRH’s engagements until today. On top of that there was a state event with tiaras, so, I’m sure you’ll understand 🙂 The Countess was sadly missed, but she had prior commitment, however we have seen Prince Edward. More in my post here.
I think we should start petition, so every state banquet would get such coverage as yesterday’s. Who’s with me?! 🙂 But back to HRH!

© Rufus Nobbins Photography courtesy of Headway Devon. The arrival of HRH with David Fursdon, Lord Lieutenant of Devon.

Yesterday The Countess visited Devon with three engagements. HRH travelled by helicopter, which landed on the pitch of Bar Sol Ona FC. Parkway Sports and Social Club was delighted to welcome the Royal helicopter and the Countess of Wessex to Plymouth. Article here.

https://www.facebook.com/BarSolOnaFootballClub/photos/pcb.1092895457396145/1092894220729602/?type=3
via Bar Sol Ona FC Facebook feed.

First, The Countess visited Vispring on Ernesettle Lane in Plymouth. The Countess of Wessex enjoyed a tour of Vispring’s factory and met many of its master craftsmen before officially opening the company’s new showroom.

https://www.facebook.com/vispringbeds/photos/a.699342083413334.1073741826.467155926631952/1163694790311392/?type=3
courtesy of Vispring.

Vispring is a bed company founded in 1901 in Plymouth, marketing bespoke, handmade beds of natural materials, such as wool, cotton, horsehair, coir, silk, cashmere, mohair and alpaca fleece rather than synthetic materials and foam.

https://www.facebook.com/vispringbeds/photos/a.699342083413334.1073741826.467155926631952/1163694643644740/?type=3
courtesy of Vispring.

As active supporters of the Campaign for Wool, both Her Royal Highness and Vispring are passionate about the use of British wool. Vispring is proud to use more Platinum Certified pure British fleece wool than any other bed maker in the world and the factory team were able to show The Countess of Wessex exactly how the precious fibre is used within Vispring’s luxurious beds. Chris Harrison, Vispring’s Operations Director, explained the benefits of using wool for bed making, before Kevin Webb, who has worked in the natural fillings section for more than 15 years, explained how he creates unique blends of materials to generously hand-fill Vispring’s mattresses.

https://www.facebook.com/vispringbeds/photos/a.699342083413334.1073741826.467155926631952/1163695216978016/?type=3
courtesy of Vispring.

As a major local employer, Vispring was also keen to highlight its apprenticeship program and commitment to ensuring that its specialist bed-making skills are passed on to future generations. Vispring’s Training coordinator, Jenny Lambert, explained the company’s training initiatives before its newest recruit, Radoslav Grudlev, demonstrated how to side-stitch a mattress by hand.  Her Royal Highness then took the opportunity to try her own hand at side-stitching.

https://www.facebook.com/vispringbeds/photos/a.699342083413334.1073741826.467155926631952/1163694420311429/?type=3
courtesy of Vispring.

Vispring’s Managing Director, Mike Meehan, commented: “We are very grateful to The Countess of Wessex for taking the time to visit our factory. We are devoted to using only the finest natural materials and highest standards of craftsmanship to make our bespoke beds and mattresses, so it has been a great honour to have the opportunity to show Her Royal Highness the process first hand.” For full article about HRH’s visit click here, photo gallery is here.

Afterwards, HRH visited Headway Devon, The XCentre. Headway Devon is a local charity dedicated to improving life after brain injury, which  provides essential services across Devon and Torbay for people with acquired brain injuries, their families and carers.

© Rufus Nobbins Photography courtesy of Headway Devon. HRH’s arrival.

During the visit, The Countess of Wessex toured the XCentre – which is the headquarters of Headway Devon as well as the charity’s Exeter-based day centre for people with brain injuries – speaking to people affected by brain injuries and supporters of the charity.

© Rufus Nobbins Photography courtesy of Headway Devon. Anne Mattock (Chief Executive) introduces the work of Headway to HRH.

Earlier this year and following a two-year fundraising appeal Headway Devon successfully purchased the XCentre, a sympathetic conversion of the city’s old wool-drying shed.

© Rufus Nobbins Photography courtesy of Headway Devon. HRH Discussing Cognitive rehabilitation therapy, L to R: David Doe (volunteer), Natalie Clapshaw (Exeter Centre Manager).

While touring the centre, Her Royal Highness was able to take part in a range of activities offered by Headway which are aimed at helping people with brain injuries to relearn lost skills and improve their quality of life. Included amongst these activities was cognitive rehabilitation therapy, where The Countess of Wessex tried her hand at exercises developed to improve thinking skills like memory and concentration, and a Devon cream tea with scones baked by the clients of Headway Devon during the afternoon.

© Rufus Nobbins Photography courtesy of Headway Devon. HRH with Keith Foote (client and Trustee), Amanda Braggins (South Devon Centre Manager)

Her Royal Highness was also shown a spinning activity where clients of the charity were being taught how to make alpaca wool into yarn, drawing together the important role that the XCentre played in the city’s wool-trade in the 18th century and Headway’s focus on art and craft activities as a means of therapy and rehabilitation for those who have sustained brain injury.

© Rufus Nobbins Photography courtesy of Headway Devon. L to R: HRH the Countess of Wessex, Jeremy Andrews (client), Sarah Walker (client), and Amanda Braggins (South Devon Centre Manager)

Those involved in the event said they were really looking forward to meeting The Countess of Wessex and clients and family members had travelled from across Devon and Torbay to be present for the occasion.

© Rufus Nobbins Photography courtesy of Headway Devon. Client John Wood shows HRH a CV that he has been working on at Headway.

Following the visit, Headway Devon Chief Executive Anne Mattock said, “We were really pleased with how the event went. To have The Countess of Wessex here was a great validation of the important work that we do in the local community“.

© Rufus Nobbins Photography courtesy of Headway Devon. HRH finds out about the use of IT at Headway from clients John Wood (front) and Richard Battishill (back).

Our clients thoroughly enjoyed meeting Her Royal Highness, who showed a real interest in their stories and experiences, taking the time to speak to each person individually. It was a very positive experience for us all and we were touched by her understanding and compassion“.

© Rufus Nobbins Photography courtesy of Headway Devon. HRH speaks to Headway Devon Community support clients.

Headway Devon has been supporting people across Devon and Torbay for twenty years, and we now support over 200 people every week, but despite that there are still a lot of people who haven’t heard of us. This visit has really thrown a spotlight on our work and is a great opportunity for us to raise awareness about brain injury and the specialist support that we provide to those who need it.”

© Rufus Nobbins Photography courtesy of Headway Devon. HRH with a posy presented by Headway client Marilyn Dingle-Shevlin (assisted by Community Support Services Manager, Myra Heno)

HRH has said: “I think so often people say things that they don’t really mean, and a lot of people don’t understand and they don’t know what to ask about a brain injury. It is not the first time I have visited a Headway charity, each client is different and they have different hopes and aspirations. Headway is a great organisation and it is shame as we live in a judgemental world where people tend to judge on appearances. Our society is full of different people which make our society a fantastic one. Thank you all for having me, I know I have overrun but it’s your fault, thanks for doing such a wonderful job and behalf of all the clients’ thanks for having me today.” More in this article.

© Rufus Nobbins Photography courtesy of Headway Devon. Headway Trustee Chris Thorne thanks HRH for her visit.

Headway Devon’s mission is to ensure that when a person’s life is turned upside down by brain injury, they get the help and support they need and deserve. Brain injury has many causes but some of the most common are head injury, stroke, brain tumour, and illnesses like meningitis.

© Rufus Nobbins Photography courtesy of Headway Devon. HRH speaks to Heaaway trustees.

Headway Devon are the local acquired brain injury specialists who we have been providing services for people with brain injuries for over 15 years. They support people with brain injuries to come to terms with what has happened and overcome their disabilities, as well as providing support and advice to their families and carers and training and information for local professionals.

© Rufus Nobbins Photography courtesy of Headway Devon. HRH speaks to family members and carers.

After witnessing some of the activities Her Royal Highness unveiled a plaque to mark the visit and was presented with a posy by Marilyn Dingle-Shevlin, a long-standing client and supporter of Headway Devon. HRH also signed visitor’s guestbook. Very quick video can be found here. Back in 2014, HRH visted Headway, Brain Injury Association in Ipswich. Post here.

© Rufus Nobbins Photography courtesy of Headway Devon.

In the evening, as Patron of The Two Moors Festival, attended a performance of Tarka the Otter at Exeter Cathedral in Exeter, Devon.

http://www.mattroundphotography.com/
© Matt Round Photography – picture posted with kind permission from photographer.

Tarka the Otter, based on Henry Williamson’s classic, tells the life cycle of an otter whose habitat is two rivers, the Taw and Torridge, together with their surrounding areas in North Devon. The story narrates the life of an otter from cubhood to adult and finally to death by hounds.

https://www.facebook.com/The-Maynard-School-236281473075815/
via Maynard School‘s Facebook feed

Tarka the Otter: the opera was originally commissioned by John and Penny Adie of The Two Moors Festival and premiered at Rosemoor RHS Garden, Torrington in 2006. This year, as part of celebrations of the Two Moors Festival’s 15th anniversary, Tarka the opera was brought back once more. It was composed by Stephen McNeff and directed by Thomas Guthrie.

http://www.mattroundphotography.com/
© Matt Round Photography – picture posted with kind permission from photographer.

Part of the original idea of putting on such an opera was to involve the local communities as much as possible. Consequently, many children from local schools (including Maynard School) took to the stage as ducks and eels. Gallery can be found here.

Here’s what Penny Adie (co-founder of the festival), wrote in her blog about The Countess of Wessex and The Two Moors Festival 15th Anniversary: “I’m sure many of you will know already that the festival’s Patron, HRH The Countess of Wessex celebrates her 50th birthday this week. This is so exciting for her and we all hope that she has a wonderful time. She is marvelously supportive of the festival and we couldn’t be more fortunate to have such a generous and kind-hearted person looking after us. We are always astonished by how much she fits in on a visit to Devon. On the last occasion, she included four engagements in one day; the first, we believe, in Bristol and the last in Exeter for the festival’s production of ‘Noye’s Fludde’. With travel time from her home near Guildford to take into account, it was a long day with a punishing schedule. Anyone who says that the Royal Family lead an easy life should think again, for we know hard the Countess works – always smiling, always chatting to people and having the ability to make each person feel special”. For full blog entry, click here.

Outfit & jewellery:
Issa, Bay Knitted Dress with matching Mills Knitted Cardigan in rose pink.
Clutch by Sophie Habsburg Design in Ginny Style.
GIANVITO ROSSI Bari 85 patent-leather court shoes in pale pink.
New earrings for HRH, I cannot be certain but they look bespoke and handmade.