Blackpool will welcome a Royal visit this October to commemorate the 125th birthday of the resort’s two famous landmarks, the Blackpool Grand Theatre and The Blackpool Tower.
Her Royal Highness The Countess of Wessex GCVO will be coming to the resort on Tuesday October 1, meeting some of the key people who have helped save and restore the resort’s iconic attractions.
Better known as Sophie Windsor, she will visit the famous attractions found inside the Lancashire landmark including The Blackpool Tower Ballroom and The Blackpool Tower Circus followed by a visit to the building’s viewing platform, The Blackpool Tower Eye.
Before that, however, Sophie will visit the Blackpool Grand Theatre, where she will enjoy a short performance from two youth groups, Our Lady of the Assumption RC Primary School group who are part of the Grand Theatre’s Associate Schools Programme and the Scouts, Guides, Cubs and Brownies, who will perform an excerpt from Blackpool Scout Gang Show, which will take place at the theatre later in the month.
Following the performance Her Royal Highness will meet representatives from the three charities who saved the theatre from demolition in the early 1970s along with young people for whom the Grand Theatre is an important part of their lives, both as a venue to perform in and as an educational resource that works with schools across Blackpool to improve young people’s literacy, resilience and learning.
Following her meeting at the theatre, The Countess will then visit The Blackpool Tower where she will meet with Kate Shane, Head of Merlin Entertainments Blackpool Cluster, before being given a guided tour.
Before departing, Her Royal Highness will be invited to unveil a new blue plaque commemorating The Blackpool Tower’s 125th birthday.
Chairman of the Grand Theatre Trust, Roger Lloyd Jones, said: “We are absolutely delighted to welcome HRH The Countess of Wessex GCVO to our beautiful building in this, our 125th anniversary year. All year the team has been working hard to both celebrate and fundraise for the preservation and development of this important Grade II* Listed heritage asset and this Royal visit is really the cherry on the cake of our very special year.”
Mrs Shane added: “This has been an incredibly exciting year for the resort of Blackpool and it is a great privilege to welcome The Countess of Wessex to join in our celebrations. We are very much looking forward to showing her around The Blackpool Tower and telling her about our exciting plans for the remainder of our 125th birthday.”