The Royal Week: 20-26 May 2023

Published 26 May 2023

Read more about the highlights of this week’s Royal activities, events and engagements.

The King and Queen in Belfast

Saturday 20 May

To mark World Bee Day, photos were shared of the beehives at different Royal Residences, including Buckingham Palace, Clarence House and Highgrove.

The Royal Family are keen beekeepers, and beehives are a regular feature across the Royal Residences.

The Princess of Wales keeps bees at Anmer Hall and brought a jar of the honey from the hives for schoolchildren to try on a visit to the Natural History Museum's new biodiversity hub in June 2021.

The Princess Royal was in Canada to mark the 175th anniversary of the 8th Canadian Hussars (Princess Louise’s).

Her Royal Highness attended a briefing with the Honorary and Command teams, and later attended a Freedom of the City of Moncton Parade at Moncton City Hall.

Sunday 21 May

To mark the end of World Mental Health Awareness Week, a video was released of The Prince of Wales, as Commodore-in-Chief of the Submarine Service, with crew members of ‘HMS OARDACIOUS’.

HMS OARDACIOUS was established in 2019 to champion and fundraise for the wellbeing, mental health and welfare of all submariners.

On the final day in Canada, The Princess Royal carried out engagements in New Brunswick to mark the 175th anniversary of the 8th Canadian Hussars (Princess Louise’s).

The day started with a Service at Trinity Anglican Church, which marked the anniversary. This was followed by a Freedom of the Town of Sussex Parade.

Her Royal Highness finished her time in Canada, with a visit to the Regimental Museum and Sussex (Milton Gregg) Armouries.

Monday 22 May

The King and Queen were joined by The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, Prince and Princess Michael of Kent and Princess Alexandra, as they attended the RHS Chelsea Flower Show at the Royal Hospital Chelsea.

During their visit to this annual show, Their Majesties presented the first ever Elizabeth Medal of Honour, which has been introduced in memory of Queen Elizabeth II - who was the RHS Patron for 70 years.

Earlier in the day, The Princess of Wales visit Chelsea Flower Show for the first ever children’s picnic, which aimed at bringing gardening and nature into the lives of young people.

As Patron of The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award, The Duke of Edinburgh was in Berlin to celebrate young people who have successfully participated in the scheme.

His Royal Highness visited a local school to join a roundtable discussion on the awards in Germany, before attending an Awards ceremony, where he presented over 90 young people with their Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards.

Tuesday 23 May

The Prince of Wales visited Earthshot Prize winner and sustainable packaging start-up, Notpla, to see how the business has scaled up its production since winning the Prize last November.

The London-based start-up won the 2022 Earthshot Prize in the ‘Build a Waste-Free World’ category, with its plastic-free consumer packaging products made from seaweed and plants.

The Duke of Edinburgh’s second day in Berlin started at Alexander Haus, where he received a tour and learnt more about the history of the house and its occupants.

Following a plaque unveiling and goodbyes, The Duke departed Berlin for Prague, Czech Republic.

On arrival at Spandau Central Station, His Royal Highness was welcomed to the Czech Republic by the UK Ambassador, Mr Matthew Field OBE. There was also the chance to view the monument to Sir Nicholas Winton and the Czech Kindertransport, where The Duke laid flowers.

At the Ambassador’s residence, His Royal Highness attended a youth reception which included those who are currently participating in the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award.

Details of The Duchess of Edinburgh’s visit to Baghdad, Iraq were published. Her Royal Highness spent two days in the country, where she heard about the challenges facing Iraqi women and girls, and the ongoing work to protect and promote their rights.

Read more about the visit here.

The Princess Royal hosted an Investiture Ceremony at Windsor Castle.

Wednesday 24 May

The King and Queen began their two-day visit to Northern Ireland, Their Majesties’ first visit to the country following the Coronation.

At Hazelbank Park in Newtownabbey, Their Majesties opened the new Coronation Garden, which has been created to commemorate The King and Queen’s Coronation, as well as to mark the start of a new green initiative for the local community.

Here, Their Majesties met school children, who have been taking part in Coronation-themed projects, as well as members of the community who volunteered for local charities during the Big Help Out over the Coronation Weekend, and recipients of The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, The King’s Award for Enterprise and The Duke of Edinburgh Bursary.

Later, The King and Queen were Guests of Honour at a Garden Party held at Hillsborough Castle, where Their Majesties met guests from across Northern Ireland’s voluntary and charitable sectors who have made positive impacts in their communities.

Their Majesties also congratulated children from Blythefield Primary School, who have been selected as one of the winners of Historic Royal Palaces’ National Coronation Benches Competition. The competition invited schools across the UK to submit designs for benches that will be installed across Historic Royal Palaces’ sites.

The King and Queen sit on a new Coronation bench

Meanwhile, The Duke of Edinburgh began engagements in Prague, Czech Republic. At Prague Castle, His Royal Highness had a meeting with President Petr Pavel.

Next, His Royal Highness paid tribute to his father at the Tree Alley of HRH Prince Philip in Vestec u Prahy. The trees were planted last year in tribute to the late Prince Philip, who founded the DofE. The Duke met groups of DofE Award participants who were involved in the tree planting and are involved in environmental projects.

At the Chamber of Deputies of the Czech Republic, His Royal Highness was welcomed by Mrs Vera Kovarova, Deputy Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies, and was introduced to members of the Czech DofE’s Youth Advisory Board. The Duke then joined parliamentarians for a roundtable discussion on non-formal education.

At the Czech Senate, His Royal Highness then joined a Gold Award ceremony, where he presented certificates and met all the young people who have achieved their DofE Gold Award in the last two years.

The Princess Royal, as Royal Colonel, visited the 1st Battalion The Ranger Regiment at Palace Barracks in County Down.

In the garden of Buckingham Palace, The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester celebrated the 150th Anniversary of the Royal Kennel Club.

Thursday 25 May

The King and Queen continued their two-day visit to Northern Ireland in Armagh. His Majesty began the day at St Patrick’s Church of Ireland Cathedral, where he met representatives from the Church of Ireland, the Roman Catholic Church, the Presbyterian Church, the Methodist Church and the Irish Council of Churches.

Meanwhile, The Queen continued her work to champion literacy at Armagh Robinson Library, home to a number of local archaeological items, historical archives and fine art, as well as books. Her Majesty met children taking part in library-themed crafts and volunteers from Dementia Friendly Museums.

Later, Their Majesties visited Market Theatre Square jointly, where a Celebration of Culture was taking place, showcasing Ulster-Scots, Irish, Chinese and South Asian cultures, and featuring traditional music, song and dance.

The King met representatives of The Prince’s Trust working in Northern Ireland, while The Queen met members of Knit and Natter, a group established during Covid by a lady who began knitting headbands for charity.

At Enniskillen Castle, The King and Queen met representatives from across the community, voluntary and heritage sectors in Fermanagh. Their Majesties also joined children taking part in ‘The Kindness Postbox’ initiative, writing letters to residents of local nursing homes.

Read more about Their Majesties’ time in Northern Ireland here.

In London, The Princess of Wales visited the Foundling Museum to meet foster parents and people who have experienced the care system. 

Joined by rapper Professor Green, Her Royal Highness met young people who have been in care and have taken part in the museum’s Tracing Our Tales programme, which aims to provide skills and confidence to deliver learning programmes at the museum, return to education, secure apprenticeships and jobs, as well as the ability to express themselves creatively.

In Prague, at Youth Centre for Award in Action, The Duke of Edinburgh met students who a participating in the DofE and was shown some of the activities they are learning as part of the Award. During the visit, His Royal Highness also able to meet those who run the DofE scheme in the Czech Republic.

Next, The Duke visited the Operation Anthropoid Memorial, which is commemorates Operation Anthropoid, an ambush on senior Nazi official Reinhard Heydrich by Czechoslovakian partisans in 1942.

The Duke of Edinburgh visits the Operation Anthropoid Memorial

His Royal Highness’s time in the Czech Republic finished at the Cathedral of Saints Cyril & Methodius and laid flowers at the memorial.

The Duke of Kent, as Patron of the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway Preservation Society, visited Keighley and Worth Valley Railway at Oxenhope Station, where His Royal Highness took part in Centenary commemorations for the Flying Scotsman.

Friday 26 May

The Prince of Wales this afternoon met members of the Grenfell community supported by Queens Park Rangers Football Club at Loftus Road Stadium. Here, His Royal Highness met people affected by the Grenfell Tower fire and heard about how the soccer club has supported the community since the tragic event.

The Princess Royal, accompanied by Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, attended a Service and unveiled the Garden of Reflection Memorial at Liverpool Parish Church.

The Princess Royal attends a service, before unveiling a memorial for The Battle of the Atlantic Memorial

Afterwards, Her Royal Highness opened an Exhibition at Western Approaches Museum, before attending a Reception at Liverpool Town Hall.

Further details about The Duchess of Edinburgh's visit to Iraq were released. Following engagements in Baghdad earlier in the week, The Duchess then travelled to Erbil and Duhok, where Her Royal Highness engaged with civil society organisations working to address the devastating impact of conflict related sexual violence (CRSV) and to promote the full, equal and meaningful participation of women in peace processes.

Read more here.

The Duchess of Edinburgh in Iraq

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