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HRH The Duchess of Cornwall officially reopens Fulham Palace

On Wednesday 12 June, Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall visited Fulham Palace to officially reopen the brand new museum and historic rooms.

As the Palace’s Royal Patron, Her Royal Highness was able to see for herself the major improvements to the Palace since her previous visit 18 months ago. Mariana Spater, Fulham Palace’s chair, and Sian Harrington, chief executive, welcomed The Duchess and showed her the restored Palace.

Sian Harrington and The Duchess of Cornwall walk across the lawn

The Duchess first went to the garden where she met members of the gardening team, including Hattie, an apprentice gardener, as well as the Palace’s longest standing member of staff, Chris Richardson who has been working at the Palace for over 40 years.

The Duchess of Cornwall smiles with a member of the Fulham Palace garden team
The Duchess of Cornwall shakes hands with one of the garden volunteers

Her Royal Highness then met with volunteer gardeners, who were tending to the Palace’s walled garden. The Palace has over 250 volunteers, of which around 50 volunteer in the garden.

Bee keeping volunteer Sarah Nicholl-Carne, then spoke to The Duchess about the Palace’s hives, which sit in the floral walled garden. The Duchess was later presented with a jar of sought after Fulham Palace honey, made by Sarah and the Palace’s other beekeeping volunteers.

The Duchess of Cornwall meets Sarah Nicholl-Carne

After seeing the garden, The Duchess visited the house, which was the home of the Bishops of London for over 1,300 years. Her Royal Highness toured the new museum, learning about Bishop Compton, the botanising Bishop who enjoyed chillies on salads and home-grown tomatoes.

The Duchess of Cornwall enters the museum, with Sian Harrington on the right of the room, and a group of volunteers on the left waiting to greet her

Her Royal Highness spoke to donors in the Tudor great hall, who have supported the restoration project, and commented that so much had been done to the Palace since she last visited. The Duchess was very impressed with the project coming in on time and budget. There were also short speeches from Sian Harrington (CEO), Mariana Spater (chair) and Ros Kerslake (chief executive at The National Lottery Heritage Fund).

The Duchess then unveiled a plaque to mark the occasion. The plaque will be put on display in the entrance at the Palace.

The Duchess of Cornwall unveils a bronze plaque in the great hall

Photos by Graham Lacdao