A HISTORIC vessel was given regal approval from His Royal Highness The Duke of Kent.
Prince Edward, the Duke of Kent, spent around an hour touring the HMS Trincomalee and spoke to a number of schoolchildren who are benefiting from close links being forged between the ship and schools.
The Duke was welcomed by town leaders and representatives from HMS Trincomalee Trust and took the time to speak to each individually.
After chatting with the youngsters who spent the first day of their Easter holidays showing off their work, The Duke addressed those who gathered at Hartlepool’s Maritime Experience and said he felt “immensely proud” after what he had seen.
The Duke said: “All of you have worked so hard and it is so encouraging to see young people from schools making good use of HMS Trincomalee, especially in your holidays.
“It’s quite something to bring a young person into a historic establishment such as this and an excellent opportunity for young people.”
Hartlepool Mayor Stuart Drummond and town MP Iain Wright joined councillors and other dignitaries meeting The Duke.
Year 9 pupils from Manor College of Technology showed off their science work on the vessel as the Royal visitor made his way on a tour of the vessel, which is the world’s oldest British warship still afloat and the last of the commissioned frigates of the Nelson era.
Children from Hackforth and Hornby C of E Primary School, in Bedale, North Yorkshire, also made the trip to Hartlepool for the occasion, as did representatives from Teesside University, as both have been working closely with staff at HMS Trincomalee over the past months.
The Duke handed out certificates to the three educational establishments for developing the close links.
Captain David Smith, president of HMS Trincomalee Trust, said: “I’m extremely proud of the tremendous effort put in by all of our educational friends and most of all to the children.
“The Duke was very impressed with everything he saw.
“I feel that we should be very grateful to His Royal Highness for the visit.”
David McKnight, general manager of HMS Trincomalee Trust, said he also felt immense pride.
He said: “It’s a huge priority for us to see the ship used, not for us to teach, but for others to bring youngsters and use the ship as a classroom.
“It’s been fantastic for us to demonstrate this to His Royal Highness and he seems to have been very impressed.”
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