Duchess of Cornwall opens Chailey charity's new £3.1m activity centre

East Sussex welcomed royalty this morning (October 17) as the Duchess of Cornwall officially opened a charity's new £3.1m facility.

Thursday, 17th October 2019, 5:03 pm
The Duchess of Cornwall at the Chailey Heritage Foundation's new DREAM Centre. Photograph: Derek Martin

The Duchess, 72, toured Chailey Heritage Foundation's new DREAM (dynamic, real, experiential, amazing, magical) Centre, on Haywards Heath Road, accompanied by her sister Annabel Elliot.

Speaking of the new centre before she arrived, Lord Lieutenant of East Sussex Peter Field said: "It's stunning. Absolutely stunning.

"It's a terrific facility. There's so much hard work gone into putting it together."

The Duchess of Cornwall at Chailey Heritage Foundation's new DREAM Centre. Photographs: Derek Martin

He added: "I'm absolutely delighted to be here and welcome her royal highness to Chailey again."

A highlight of the visit saw the Duchess watch eight Chailey Heritage School pupils deliver a circus-themed performance called Cirque du Chailey.

She also unveiled a plaque to formally open the facility and planted crab apple tree with her sister in memory of their mother Rosalind Shand, who volunteered at the charity for 20 years.

The Duchess is now due to visit Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft, on Lodge Hill Lane, which she has been president of since 2006.

A pupil at Chailey Heritage Foundation waits to meet the Duchess of Cornwall. Photograph: Derek Martin

It is the second time the Duchess has carried our royal engagements in Sussex this year. On May 16, she visited the Charleston Trust, in Firle, the then newly opened Lewes branch of children's charity Jamie's Farm, the East Sussex Women of the Year Lunch at the Amex Stadium, in Falmer, Ridgeview Wine Estate, in Ditchling.