Published 20 September 2018

The Countess of Wessex spent the day on the Isle of Wight, visiting a community charity, a skincare company and officially launching a new ferry.

The Countess of Wessex on the Isle of Wight - royal.uk

The Countess of Wessex’s day on the Isle of Wight started at Aspire Ryde, a community charity that gives people from across the Island the opportunity to get involved in gardening projects, a community choir and dance lessons.

Starting life a Church in 1840, the building was transformed, with the help of volunteers, to become a bustling community centre that serves over 1000 people a week.

In 2017, Aspire’s volunteers were recognised for their outstanding community work when they received The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. The Award was created in 2002 to mark The Queen’s Golden Jubilee and every year they honour outstanding contributions made to local communities by groups of volunteers.

Next, Her Royal Highness toured the Greenhouse factory at Liz Earle’s headquarters, to discuss the skincare company’s sustainable approach to production.

The day finished with the official launch of ‘Victoria of Wight’ a new ferry for the crossing between Portsmouth and Fishbourne.

Ceremonial ship launching dates back thousands of years, and the process involves numerous traditions – one of which is ‘christening’ the vessel by breaking a bottle of champagne over the bow of the ship as it is named aloud. This hopefully bestows good luck to the vessel and who sail in her.

The new ferry is environmentally friendly as it partly runs on electricity.