The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall this morning toured the renovated Theatre Royal Drury Lane with owner Andrew Lloyd Webber, his wife Madeline and Simon Thurley, Chairman of the Lloyd Webber Theatre Restoration Project.
The Theatre Royal Drury Lane is undergoing a two-year restoration project to bring to life the building’s history and offer a space for the public to enjoy. The theatre sits on the oldest theatre site in continuous use in the world - there has been a theatre at this location since 1663. Since its first inception, Theatre Royal Drury Lane has lived up to its name with many Royal associations and since 1812, every reigning British monarch has attended performances in the current theatre.
Andrew Lloyd Webber, along with his wife Madeleine, was keen to create a space that will see the building alive throughout the day for everyone, whether or not they are coming to see a show. The new hospitality offering includes afternoon tea, a cocktail bar and an all-day dining area for everyone to enjoy.
Later in the afternoon, The Prince of Wales, Patron of The Royal Parks, and The Duchess of Cornwall met members of staff from the charity at Hyde Park to pay tribute to them for caring for London’s green spaces.
Their Royal Highnesses spoke to gardeners, apprentices, cleaning staff, litter pickers, volunteer and the mounted police force, whose efforts helped to provide an escape for people during lockdown.
Park staff said it had been a “challenging but rewarding” time, and added it was nice to receive appreciation for their work.
Hyde Park boasts a “super” nursery which houses all 450,000 bedding plants and shrubs needed for flower displays across the eight Royal Parks, including the gardens outside Buckingham Palace.
The Royal Parks charity, launched by The Prince in 2017, welcomes 77 million visitors a year to its 5,000 acres of historic parkland across London – including Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens, St James’s Park, Green Park, Regent’s Park, Greenwich Park, Richmond Park and Bushy Park.
Chief Executive of The Royal Parks, Andrew Scattergood, said: “It’s an incredibly special day, but for me it is bigger than just the Royal Parks, I think they’re trying to say thank you to parks and gardens across the UK.
“This year with everything we’ve been through just the importance of green spaces and that access to nature is hugely important, but what today shows you is just how many people are working to enable that to happen.”