COVENTRY, its Cathedral, charities and UK City of Culture status were given royal approval on Tuesday when Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall visited.
During a packed whistlestop tour, the pair began their trip at Coventry Cathedral which is celebrating the 59th anniversary of its Consecration year.
They were given a tour by the Bishop of Coventry, the Rt Rev Dr Christopher Cocksworth, before The Prince laid a wreath and lit candles during a short service which included a recital of the Coventry Litany of Reconciliation – an act of solidarity and remembrance.
It marked the definitive place where Coventry gained its status as a City of Peace and Reconciliation and The Royal Highnesses commemorated the destruction of the cathedral in 1940 and celebrated the consecration of the New Cathedral on May 25, 1962.
They then headed to the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum where they watched performances by artists involved in the UK City of Culture and viewed the 2-Tone Lives and Legacies exhibition.
HRH The Prince of Wales is also the Royal Founding Patron of the British Asian Trust which, since 2007, has helped almost 5million people in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka as part of its quest for a South Asia which is prospering and fair for all.
The trust has so far raised £4million through ‘Oxygen For India’ to help those impacted by the pandemic and the pair also heard about the fund-raising which has taken place in Coventry to support people in India hit by Covid-19.
At the Coventry Church Municipal Charities Bond’s Hospital, the 75th anniversary of The Almshouse Association – of which The Prince is patron – was celebrated.
Bond’s Hospital Almshouses, although dating back to the 16th Century, have expanded with modern new homes as part of the almshouse community.
They maintain historic buildings for their original use and provide new homes for people in housing need.
The Duchess visited Coventry Central Library to meet service users taking part in some of the activities offered there and launched ‘One Million Reads Coventry’. The project challenges visitors to read one million books by 2022.
Her Royal Highness also read a short excerpt from Eric Carle’s children’s classic The Very Hungry Caterpillar and was entertained by a modern dance performance from the Off-Balance Dance company. The staging and music performed by Abz Winter and DeeDeeLay are part of the UK City of Culture.
The Prince of Wales, also Patron of the Canal and River Trust, visited the new Daimler Powerhouse to meet artists creating outdoor and site-specific creative work.
He then travelled along the canal on Scorpio – a working heritage boat – to Coventry Canal Basin, meeting local community groups helping look after the canal en route.
At the Basin he watched performances showcasing the UK City of Culture celebrations.
And The Duchess of Cornwall ended her day in Coventry visiting the support office of a charity which runs refuges for women across Coventry and Leicester, meeting staff and clients residing there.