The Duchess of Cornwall made a special visit to Melksham this week to officially open Forest and Sandridge Primary School.
Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, was welcomed by headteacher Anna Wilcox and, after meeting local dignitaries and school governors, was given a tour of the school.
“The staff and pupils were delighted to have such a special visitor officially open the school,” said headteacher Anna Wilcox. “It was back in November 2014 that we first wrote to The Lord Lieutenant of Wiltshire to ask her to extend our invitation to the Royal Family to official open our new building.
“We were thrilled when we heard last summer that our invitation had been accepted and that Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cornwall would be coming to officially open our new school.
“At that time my deputy head Helen Biles-Wood and I had to keep it completely secret and it was not public knowledge until just two weeks ago. A great deal of planning and preparation went on behind the scenes as we wanted the day to be very special.”
On hand to capture photographs of the special day was pupil Ella Clarke. She was given a royal press pass which allowed her special authority to take photographs of the Duchess for the school’s newspaper.
Once the Duchess had visited each classroom, a special ceremony was held in the school hall. The school choir sang ‘The Lord Bless You and Keep You’ and the house captains presented her with a posy.
The Duchess also presented the school’s attendance cup to Poplar Class for having the best whole class attendance of the term. The award is given at the end of every term and Poplar Class have won it every term this academic year.
The royal visitor then unveiled a specially made commemorative plaque to officially open the school and signed the welcome book. She then made a short speech thanking the school for their invitation and warm welcome.
Anna Wilcox continued, “The visit was amazing. We feel extremely honoured to have had such a special visitor. The children were very excited and were very polite to Her Royal Highness. She seemed to really enjoy seeing what the children were learning in each of the classes she visited.
“It was a wonderful day and one that we will always remember – definitely a once-in-a-lifetime event. We are very proud of all of the children in our school and of our school as a whole. The new building just finishes it off perfectly. We are very grateful to Her Royal Highness for making our official opening so special.
“After the Duchess left, we cut a specially made cake to celebrate and presented the children with commemorative mugs.
“Our Year 6 tour guides gave tours to our special guests and then the whole school shared in a traditional British roast beef dinner, with jam sponge for dessert. Party games were played during the afternoon to finish off our party day.”