Chichester plays host to Earl and Countess of Wessex

C120776-1 Chi Royal Cathedral  phot kate''The Earl of Wessex visiting Chichester Cathedral.C120776-1
C120776-1 Chi Royal Cathedral phot kate''The Earl of Wessex visiting Chichester Cathedral.C120776-1

Chichester played host to Royalty today (Friday, June 8), with a visit from The Earl and Countess of Wessex.

The Royal couple visited the city today as part of The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations. Today’s programme involved a visit to three of the city’s attractions, Weald and Downland Open Air Museum, Pallant House Gallery and Chichester Cathedral to see the Festival of Flowers.

Members of the public flocked in anticipation to catch a glimpse of the couple arriving to the venues.

The Countess stood out in a striking red dress and the Earl wore a navy suit. Light-hearted banter took place at the entrance to Pallant House Gallery, with the couple commenting on the great British weather and lack of sunshine.

Director of Pallant House Gallery, Stefan van Raay said: “ We are delighted to be a part of their programme, myself, our chairman and the chair of friends are very excited to have the Royal couple visit us, it is an honour and I am really pleased.”

The couple were met by the Dean of Chichester Cathedral and were shown around the Festival of Flowers by Alison Godfrey, director of the Chichester Cathedral Restoration and Development Trust and the head designer for the flower festival, Diana Cave. The Countess was given a bouquet of flowers at her arrival to the Cathedral.

Liz Cochrane, 59, from South Australia was among the crowd waiting to see the couple at Pallant House Gallery.

Liz said: “It was great that they took time to speak to people, they didn’t have to but it was a lovely touch. It was even better that they spoke to me after coming all this way, a truly memorable experience.”

The Dean of Chichester Cathedral, the Very Reverend Nicholas Frayling said: “A Royal visit is always a great encouragement, and we are delighted that the Festival of Flowers is to be honoured in this way.”

The Earl and Countess took time to view the flower arrangements around the Cathedral and speak to flower arrangers.

The Countess was even handed a copy of the Chichester Observer while they toured around Chichester Cathedral admiring the festival of flowers.

For full coverage of the Royal visit, pick up a copy of next week’s Observer.