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The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall visit Hull UK City of Culture

PUBLISHED: 09:31 20 March 2017

The royal couple sign the visitors' book at Ferens Art Gallery

The royal couple sign the visitors' book at Ferens Art Gallery

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Charles and Camilla take in some of Hull’s cultural sights.

Hundreds of people waited in the rain to greet Prince Charles and Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall who visited Hull as its year as UK City of Culture gathers pace. The couple began their visit by calling in at the newly refurbished Ferens Art Gallery before carrying out engagements separately in the city. The royal couple saw a number of artworks in the gallery including a rare 14th century panel painting by Pietro Lorenzetti, which is one of the highlights of the opening programmes of Hull 2017.

They met the Ferens Art Gallery’s curatorial and learning teams, representatives from Hull City Council, volunteers and partners of Hull UK City of Culture 2017 - the team behind Hull’s year in the spotlight and including chair Rosie Millard and chief executive Martin Green.

They also met Hull’s Women of the World festival team, the Osprey osteoporosis research charity, Children in the Arts and Friends of the Ferens.

More than 50,000 people have visited Ferens Art Gallery since it reopened on January 13th after a £5.2million refurbishment and the Turner Prize will be presented at the gallery at the end of the year.

The Prince of Wales visited Holy Trinity Church to see the ongoing regeneration project. It is England’s largest parish church, founded in 1285, and is soon to be re-dedicated as Hull Minster. During the visit the Prince met four-year-old Esme who presented him with a prayer book made by children who attend group activities at Holy Trinity.

The final engagement of the day for the prince was a visit to Holy Apostles Church, which is being used as a performance space. He watched rehearsals for the play ‘The Hypocrite’, a co-production between the Royal Shakespeare Company, Hull Truck Theatre and Hull 2017. After the rehearsal, Prince Charles met those involved with the sell-out production including cast members, Mark Addy and Caroline Quentin.

The Duchess of Cornwall meanwhile visited Emmaus’ Hull and East Riding community. The charity Emmaus, of which the duchess is patron, supports homeless people by giving them a place to live and meaningful work, helping to boost self-esteem. She met ‘companions’, as residents who live in the community are known, before touring the shop and signing the visitors’ book.

The duchess finished her visit to Hull at The Deep, one of the world’s leading aquariums where she celebrated the charity First Story’s partnership with Hull UK City of Culture 2017 and the launch of its writing residencies in five Hull secondary schools.

‘It’s just so wonderful to see all of you taking such an interest in writing stories,’ the duchess who is patron of First Story, she told children taking part in a creative writing workshop. ‘It’s a wonderful way of expressing yourself and such a good way of giving other people pleasure. Keep on writing, don’t give up!’ During the visit, the duchess also launched National Writing Day, which takes place on June 21st to promote the pleasure and power of writing.

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