Her Royal Highness the Countess of Wessex has arrived in Blackpool in celebration of two of the resort’s milestone birthdays.
Better known as Sophie Windsor, she was welcomed this morning at the iconic Grand Theatre where young performers from Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Primary School and scouts and guides of the Blackpool Scout Show put on a medley of performances,
Ruth Eastwood of The Grand Theatre said it was ‘a real honour’ to welcome another Royal visitor and showcase the talent of the ‘Young people of the palace” in their 125th year.
She said: “It’s been a wonderful year of celebration and this is another special occasion in a year long programme of events to mark the 125th birthday.
“The Theatre has been honoured to welcome the Royals in its long history and we feel very privileged and very excited to have another chance today.
”It’s great to see the children so full of energy and show the talents of the town.”
The Countess applauded the ‘amazing production’ and thanked the children for a ‘truly wonderful show’
The school is an associate lead school with the theatre and the children performed a series of segments from Macbeth, mixed with choreography and music.
Deputy head of Our Lady of the Assumption Fiona Ormerod said: “It’s been an absolutely fantastic opportunity for the children to showcase their creativity and all they have learnt through the RSC project.
“The Countess was lovely and very engaging with the children, we have pupils from aged eight to 10, performing today and she made them feel very comfortable and talked of the importance of Shakespeare and how pleased she was to see young people taking an interest and having this experience. They were so excited, this was a once in a lifetime opportunity.”
Pupil Alana Holmes,10, who has been working with the project for four years aid: “I was really nervous this morning but very excited at the same time and when I got on stage I just went for it, it was really, really good.”
Also invited to share the stage were the youngsters of Blackpool Gang Show, who put on a confident display with a medley of songs.
The group have been performing at the theatre since 1962.
Director Darrell Shuck said: “This is the group’s first ever Royal performance and what an opportunity for the young people. The children and the adult volunteers are buzzing, just buzzing.
Her Royal Highness will shortly be arriving at the Tower, where she will be treated to afternoon tea and a performance in the world famous ballroom before a trip up the Tower Eye.
She will end the visit with the unveiling of a plaque in the Tower’s new entertainment suite The Fifth Floor.