As York celebrates 800 years as a self-governing city this coming weekend, it has been announced by the City of York Council that HRH the Duke of York, Prince Andrew is to visit the city.
On Monday 9 July, it will be exactly 800 years since York was granted a Royal charter by King John, which allowed the city to take charge of its financial affairs and to trade freely. To revel in the celebrations, Prince Andrew will pay a visit to the city of his dukedom, paying homage to the rich history and success of the city of York in its 800 years.
During his visit, HRH the Duke of York will be meeting up with God, Jesus and the Devil (actors Ferdinand Kingsely and Graeme Hawley respectively) when he visits the set of the York Mystery Plays in the Museum Gardens. He will also take a history lesson in the archives and reference library to learn about York’s past and the monumental event that was the granting of the city charter in 1212. He will also be meeting some of the key players involved in the Ebor Vox performance on Charter Day, a huge-scale choral project made up of hundreds from the local community. In true British fashion, treats for the Duke will also be on offer as he takes part in the free York 800 cake giveaway.
City of York Council cabinet member for leisure, culture and tourism, Councillor Sonja Crisp, said of the visit: “We’re absolutely delighted to welcome another member of the Royal Family to York. Having the Duke of York here to celebrate this occasion will make it even more special.”
Janet Barnes, chief executive of York Museums Trust, said: “It’s a fantastic opportunity to be able to show the Duke of York the start of this important production of York Mystery Plays 2012 with the building of the huge stage with the covered seating areas. As patron of the plays we are delighted that he is able to come up and meet some of the people working behind the scenes to put on this ambitious production, which opens in August.”
Prince Andrew’s visit will be the third time this year that York has welcomed royalty after a visit by Her Majesty the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh in April to distribute Maundy Money at the Minster and a visit by Princess Beatrice last month to visit the Mystery Play’s costume workshop.
For the York 800 revels, a huge array of events throughout the year will give residents the chance to get involved in celebrating the city’s past. Charter Weekend (7-9 July) will include the climax of a choral celebration, Ebor Vox, and a flotilla of hundreds of boats on the River Ouse. Many more details of the year-long programme are available here.