HOW about this for seal of approval?
Staff at a St Annes drama school were amazed when a letter from Prince Charles landed on their doorstep.
The first in line to the throne wrote to the Emily Laws School of Acting (ELSA) to commend it for its dedication to young people’s pursuits in acting.
After the Prince’s Trust helped the schools’ founder, Emily Laws, set up the business 20 years ago, she decided to write to the Prince of Wales, the charity’s founder, keeping him up to date of the school’s achievements.
And to her surprise she received a personal reply from the Prince congratulating her on the progress made over the years.
Emily said: “I wrote to Prince Charles to thank him for how he’d helped me and how if it wasn’t for him it wouldn’t have been as successful as it has been.
“He replied saying ‘I’m so thrilled your school has gone from strength to strength’.
“You expect maybe a standard reply but this is actually from him, with his signature. I was so excited.”
With just a £1,000 grant, which Emily said was a huge sum in 1993, the school was set up from scratch.
Using business support and advertising advice from the Prince’s Trust, which has helped 700,000 young people since it was set up in 1976, the school has flourished.
ELSA has since trained around 2,000 children and young people from its base on St Andrew’s Road North, St Annes, with many of its protégés going on to star in West End productions.
Poppy Appleton, 10, who has been at ELSA for six years, said: “I think it’s amazing getting a letter from Prince Charles. I feel really proud.”
Emily added: “I definitely wouldn’t have been able to do it without the grant.
“Our motto is there’s no impossible dream.”
ELSA is now looking forward to celebrating its 20th birthday on March 9, making it the longest established acting school on the Fylde coast.