The Duchess of Kent visits the school 23rd March 1993


In 1993, Longridge Towers School was honoured by the arrival of the Duchess of Kent, to formally open the new Sports Hall. The special day was carefully planned to the minute, and the Duchess was able to see most of the school, and more importantly, talk with many pupils. The Duchess has played a very active role in the Royal Family, and carried out many duties in the years before the Queen’s children came of age and could take over some of those duties. Her energy and enthusiasm were evident during her time at Longridge Towers, and all who met her will remember her with affection and respect. We were very fortunate indeed, to be visited by such an important member of the British Royal Family, and we are proud to have had this special association.

The opening of the Sports Hall provided a marvellous new facility which is used to capacity today. As well as being a top-quality space for a wide variety of sports, it has been the venue for many enjoyable functions, such as the annual Sixth Form Snowball at Christmas and the end of year Summer Ball. It can also be hired for private functions.

The Duchess, Katherine, was born in 1933 and married Prince Edward, Duke of Kent in 1972. (Prince Edward is a first cousin of Queen Elizabeth II. His brother is Prince Michael of Kent, and his sister is Princess Alexandra, The Honourable Lady Ogilvy). The Duchess of Kent is the only Royal Family member who is entitled to use HRH, but has decided not to. Her life has been full, and her giving nature recognised by so many well-known, and some not so well-known, organisations.

The Duchess of Kent is passionate about the power of music, and particularly the positive impact that music can have on young people. In 2004 she founded a charity, Future Talent, which aims to give every child an equal opportunity to excel in music. She is quoted as saying: “Being able to share and pass on your love of music to children is the greatest privilege a teacher can have.” She plays the piano, violin and organ. The Duchess of Kent is an ambassador for Aldeburgh Productions in Suffolk and was for 35 years, the President of the Royal Northern College of Music (Manchester). She was also a Trustee of the National Foundation for Youth Music (London).

She has been a long-term supporter of tennis, presenting the prizes at Wimbledon, and is patron of many organisations including;

Benslow Instrument Loan Scheme,
Hong Kong LEP Trust
Making Music (National Federation of Music Societies)
Paul Strickland Scanner Centre
Rhys Daniels Trust
The Royal British Legion Women's Section
Streetwise Opera
United Response
Yorkshire County Cricket Club

The Duchess is the Colonel-in-Chief of The Prince of Wales’s Own Regiment of Yorkshire, Deputy Colonel-in-Chief of Adjutant General’s Corps, Deputy Colonel-in-Chief of Royal Dragoon Guards, and Deputy Colonel-in-Chief of Royal Logistic Corps.

Many hospitals, and special units around the world bear her name. She has been a volunteer for the Passage Night Shelter for the homeless, which was founded by Cardinal Basil Hume.

HRH The Duchess of Kent

Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland
TD15 2XQ United Kingdom
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