His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh visited Leicester on Tuesday 16th May, where he toured four venues which showcase the city’s diversity and rich history.
The Lord Lieutenant of Leicestershire, Mike Kapur, accompanied The Duke of Edinburgh during his visit, which began at the Shama Women’s Centre in Sparkenhoe Street.
The centre is an important charity which for more than 35 years has been supporting women from diverse communities to overcome cultural, economic and language barriers.
Khudeja Amer-Sharif, the centre’s CEO, showed His Royal Highness around the centre, where he got the chance to see several activities in progress, including a baking class, a hair and beauty group, and arts and crafts sessions. He also learned more about the centre’s English for Speakers of Other languages (ESOL) and Workers Rights Learners programmes.
The next stop was the African Caribbean Centre in Maidstone Road, an important community hub which provides a centre for events and activities for people of all ages.
The Duke of Edinburgh was treated to a short performance by children from the Contrast Steelpan class.
He then met several people who take part in one of the many activity and education classes held at the centre, before hearing more about the centre’s and community’s links to the Windrush Generation and viewing a mural honouring those who arrived in Leicester from the Caribbean during the 1950s and 1960s.
The Duke’s next stop was at the King Richard III Visitor Centre, which tells the story of the discovery and identification of the King’s mortal remains in a Leicester car park. He was shown part of the exhibition and the grave site, and spoke to volunteers about the history and legends of King Richard III.
The final stop of the day was at Leicester Cathedral, where His Royal Highness was shown progress of the work of the Leicester Cathedral Revealed Project and learned more about the discoveries made during the archaeological excavations.
The day closed with a visit to the tomb of King Richard III, which has been protected and closed to the public during construction work at the Cathedral.
Mike Kapur OBE, Lord Lieutenant of Leicestershire, said: “It is always a privilege to receive Royal visitors to Leicester and Leicestershire, and today’s visit by His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh.
“It was an honour to host this important visit, and I was delighted that His Royal Highness was able to spend so much time talking to people from different communities and learning more about their lives and interests, as well as learning more about Leicester’s rich history and how it is shaping the city’s future.”
Leicester City Mayor Sir Peter Soulsby said: “I was pleased to share a small part of Leicester’s 2,000 years of history with the Duke of Edinburgh and hope that he enjoyed his visit to our diverse and welcoming city.”
The Right Reverend Saju Muthalaly, Bishop of Loughborough, who welcomed His Royal Highness to Leicester Cathedral, said: “It was a great honour and privilege to welcome His Royal Highness to Leicester and to show him our historic Cathedral with its royal connections as the resting place of Richard III and the ancient heritage of this location, but also to give him a glimpse of its exciting future as the beating heart of worship and mission for the hundreds of Anglican communities and church schools in our diocese."
Simon Bentley, Project Director of Leicester Cathedral Revealed, said: "We are making good progress after the extended archaeological excavation, and we are excited by the many opportunities the finds will bring for engagement with our communities and visitors from farther afield."