|HRH Princess Alexandra, Patron of Leeds Castle Foundation|
Leeds Castle Foundation celebrated its 40th anniversary as a charitable foundation today, Thursday 9th October, with a Royal visit from Patron HRH Princess Alexandra to officially open The Gatehouse introductory exhibition, view the new Exhibition Centre display rooms, meet long serving staff and attend an education workshop with students from the Leeds and Broomfield Village Primary School.
The last private owner of Leeds Castle the Hon. Olive, Lady Baillie made the Castle her lifelong love and she ensured that after her death in 1974 the Castle should be enjoyed by visitors from all over the world as a place where people would always be welcome.
Over the last 40 years, Leeds Castle under the guidance of the charitable Foundation has become one of the most visited historic buildings in Great Britain and today plays hosts to events and functions throughout the year continuing to boost tourism in Kent.
HRH Princess Alexandra, Patron of Leeds Castle Foundation officially opens The Gatehouse introductory exhibition during a visit to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the charitable foundation. Pictured above with Shane Guy, Head of Tourism for Leeds Castle (left) and Niall Dickson, Chairman of Leeds Castle Foundation (right).
The Gatehouse,is designed as a 15 minute walk‑through prior to visiting the Castle and includes an incredible virtual model, a computer‑generated fly‑through history of the Castle from its 12th century origins as a stone fortress on the River Len to an elegant early 20th century retreat. The new presentation, housed in The Gatehouse building on Castle Island, gives visitors the chance for an in-depth look at some of the Castle’s finest treasures, including a medieval crusader’s sword and Joan of Navarre's wardrobe book.
|HRH Princess Alexandra, Patron of Leeds Castle Foundation views the Joan of Navarre wardrobe book with Victoria Wallace, Chief Executive of Leeds Castle, Niall Dickson, Chairman of Leeds Castle Foundation (centre) and Shane Guy, Head of Tourism for Leeds Castle (right).|
HRH took a tour of the new Exhibition Centre, which opened in June, featuring two display rooms located within Stable Courtyard. Pictured above with Victoria Wallace, Chief Executive of Leeds Castle as she meets Tori Reeve, Curator of Leeds Castle.
|HRH Princess Alexandra, Patron of Leeds Castle Foundation views the Dog Collar Collection in the new exhibition centre with Tori Reeve,Curator for Leeds Castle (pictured above left) during a visit to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the charitable foundation.|
Students from the Leeds and Broomfield Village Primary School enjoyed a special visit from HRH Princess Alexandra during an education workshop ‘A Potted History of Leeds Castle’. The award‑winning Leeds Castle Education Centre delivers the new National Curriculum for the 2014/15 academic year through interactive workshops offering all the benefits of school trips within the beautiful 900 year old Castle in Kent.
|HRH Princess Alexandra, Patron of Leeds Castle Foundation visits an education workshop during a visit to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the charitable foundation. Pictured with Jake Poulton, aged 8, and Charley Jackson, aged 7, from Leeds and Broomfield Primary School.|
"The children from Class 2 of Leeds and Broomfield School were very excited to meet a real live princess. They started their day learning about all the kings, queens, princes and princesses who had lived at the castle over the 300 years that it was royally owned.
"When the princess arrived, they were overawed and uncharacteristically quiet, but they soon found their voices to tell her they would much rather be at Leeds Castle than in the Maths lesson they would have been doing at school! The Princess also signed the Leeds Castle Visitor book whilst visiting the Education Centre," commented Helen Ellis, Education Manager.
|HRH Princess Alexandra, Patron of Leeds Castle Foundation visits an education workshop during her visit. Pictured with Helen Ellis, Education Manager and children from Leeds and Broomfield School.|
For more information on Leeds Castle Foundation visit www.leeds-castle.com