Princess Anne, The Princess Royal will be joining pupils and staff at Tain Royal Academy next week to celebrate the 200 years since her Great Great Grandfather, King George III signed a Royal charter in 1809 granting permission for a secondary school to be built in Tain. It was four years after the Charter was signed that Tain Royal Academy was built and opened its doors to pupils.
As part of the celebration, HRH The Princess Royal will view the newly restored original Charter document and unveil a specially produced framed duplicate which will go on permanent display in the school.
Before the unveiling HRH The Princess Royal will visit several classrooms to see pupils working with their teachers and will be introduced to number of school groups, including a group of pupils who have successfully completed the Alladale Challenge as part of their Duke of Edinburgh Awards, boys and girls involved with Columba 1400 which the Princess is Patron of, sports achievers including the Senior Scottish School Girls Javelin Champion, Anna Giongrandi, pupils from Room 18 – the school’s social enterprise project. She will also learn about the School’s link with Malawi and music will be performed by Gizzen Briggs who played for HRH The Queen at the official opening of the Scottish Parliament.
HRH The Princess Royal will also have the chance to look at a specially compiled photographic exhibition highlighting the 200 year history of the school before the whole school pupils, staff and guests gather to watch the unveiling of the Charter.
Head Teacher Donnie MacLeod said: “We are all very excited about the visit which will mark an important year for our school in a very special and memorable way.”
Following the School Visit, HRH The Princes Royal will travel to the new redesigned Tain Rose Gardens to formally open them.
The transformation of the Rose Garden was a partnership project of the Tain Initiative Group, Tain Task Force, Tain Royal Academy, Tain Nursery, Tain Gardeners Club and the Beechgrove Garden. A team of enthusiastic, hard working volunteers from Tain and the surrounding area also hugely supported the project. Project funding of £109,658 for the project was secured from the Highland Leader Programme, Highland Legacy Fund, Tain Common Good Fund, Highland Council Ward Grant, Benn Tharsuinn Windfarm grant scheme, the Beechgrove Garden, the Coop Community Grant Scheme and Albyn Housing.
The garden was originally opened by HRH, The Queen Mother in 1966, but in more recent years, through a lack of investment, had become neglected and disused and was often a haven for anti-social behaviour. The new garden, designed by renowned Beechgrove designer, Kirsty McLean, has transformed the High Street and is now proving hugely popular amongst residents and visitors. The garden featured on the Beechgrove Garden programme on 6th May and further details can be found on the Beechgrove Garden website www.beechgrove.co.uk.
HRH The Princess Royal will enjoy a tour of the gardens, meeting representatives from the many groups involved in the project and will view a photographic exhibition, put together by Margaret Urquhart from Tain Museum and David McAllister from Tain Task Force, showing the original opening and construction of the new garden. A new plaque commemorating the opening will be unveiled.
The trip to Tain will end with a visit to Tain Parish Church Hall where various funders and volunteers who have supported the work of Connecting Young Carers will be gathered to talk about their work and demonstrate some of the workshop activities available to clients.