The Earl of Wessex on a previous visit to the Isle of Wight in 2006. Picture by Chris Thwaites.
ROYAL couple, the Earl and Countess of Wessex, will be guests of honour at a Royal Yacht Squadron gala dinner during their two day visit to the Isle of Wight next week.
As reported last week by the County Press, the couple will be on the Island on Thursday and Friday, and details of their itinerary have now been revealed.
Isle of Wight Lord Lieutenant Maj Gel Martin White, said: "The visit is a wonderful opportunity to highlight the valuable work of organisations and volunteers who contribute so much to Island life.
"We are very much looking forward to welcoming the Earl and Countess of Wessex back to the Isle of Wight."
On Thursday the Earl and Countess of Wessex will visit Shanklin Theatre, where they will meet staff, volunteers and performers before watching a short performance from First Act, a drama group for people with disabilities.
While at the theatre, the Earl of Wessex will be presented with a birthday cake prepared by the Women’s Institute, in celebration of his 50th birthday.
Earlier that day, the Earl of Wessex will visit Brading Roman Villa — of which he is a patron.
He will also visit Shanklin Youth and Community Club to meet volunteers, view artwork produced by young people and meet Duke of Edinburgh Award representatives.
He will present an award to Suzanne Whitewood MBE for long service and dedication to the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and Girl Guides and they will be invited to plant the first of 100 bulbs being planted in the town to commemorate the start of the First World War.
At Newport Minster, where he is also a patron, he will see the latest phase of its restoration.
The Countess of Wessex will visit Rapanui in Sandown, where she will meet apprentices and founders Rob and Martin Drake-Knight will talk about the company’s plans.
At Gatten and Lake Primary School she will view the school’s 'Shanklin Our Town’ project in conjunction with Shanklin Youth and Community Club.
She will be shown artwork and listen to a song about Shanklin sung by pupils. She will also meet pupils from St George’s and St Catherine’s School who recently completed their Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award.
She will visit the Isle of Wight Foodbank, in Cowes, where manager Hannah King will explain its work introduce the Countess to staff and volunteers.
On Friday the couple will visit St Mildred’s Church, Whippingham and Queensgate Foundation Primary School, dropping in on lessons and viewing a special project about the royal family.
At Osborne House, the Earl and Countess of Wessex will officially open the £1.65 million 'Childhood at Osborne’ conservation project at Swiss Cottage, which is due to open to the public from April 1.