Your Majesty, Your Royal Highnesses, My Lords, Ladies and Gentlemen. It is a great honour that Your Majesty is able to be with us today – eighteen years after you first came here – for such an important occasion in the history of Poundbury, on the edge of the historic town of Dorchester. Twenty-five years ago all this was a mere dream – to most people, except for the late Sir David Landale (the then Duchy of Cornwall Secretary), a completely mad dream.
Battling against the tide is an uncomfortable experience, I can assure you, and for that reason I am indebted to both the brilliant master-planner and conventional mould-breaker, Leon Krier, and to Andrew Hamilton, the long-suffering and highly professional Development Director, for helping to make the dream a reality.
Over twenty-five different architectural practices have been involved – including, importantly, several of the architects trained at my old Institute of Architecture – but in this Square I am enormously grateful to Quinlan and Francis Terry and to Ben Pentreath for their genius in designing the buildings to create such a sense of place.
Of course, without the dedicated efforts and loyalty of the builders – C. G. Fry and Son, Morrish Builders, Woodpecker Properties (in the person of Derek Newell) and ZeroC (in the shape of Kim Slowe), none of this would ever have been achieved to such a high standard of quality. I am deeply grateful to their teams of skilled craftsmen, many of them local Dorset men through and through.
For me, one of the most essential features of Poundbury has been its mixed-use, mixed-income composition – a dangerously revolutionary move twenty-five years ago! And so particular thanks go to the social housing providers, notably the Guinness Partnership, of which I am Patron.
Last, but by no means least, I owe so much to the devotion and ceaseless attention to detail of the Duchy of Cornwall delivery team, which has been led most expertly by Simon Conibear. Inevitably, there are many others who have played a special role that time, I fear, does not allow me to mention. However, I cannot possibly thank Waitrose enough for their generous hospitality today.
So it is with immense pride and in loving memory of my darling Grandmother that I invite Your Majesty to unveil the statue of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother and thus to declare open her Square…