Ladies and Gentlemen,
As usual I have taken far too long to go round this remarkable exhibition, which I look forward to every year with enormous anticipation, so I won't keep you too much longer.
I can't tell you how much pleasure it gives me to be here again with all of you today to celebrate the remarkable achievements of the students of my School for Traditional Arts, of whom, as you can imagine, I am enormously proud. This year’s degree show yet again exemplifies the tremendous hard work and commitment of the MA and Research students, whose dedication does so much to ensure that the traditional arts are continuing to thrive.
There are I know many supporters of my School here today, whose generosity makes such an enormous difference and I am extremely grateful to you all. I am particularly glad that Mr. Zhirong Hu from our Patrons’ Circle has been able to join us and if I may say so I particularly appreciate your utterly invaluable support.
It is a matter of the greatest pride that my School brings people together from all over the world and this can be seen in the immense variety of artwork from different traditions that are on display here today, and in the body of international students who study on the postgraduate degree programme based here in Shoreditch. My School of course also teaches extensively in other countries, with five centres across Azerbaijan, China, Egypt, Pakistan and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, at each of which local artists are given the opportunity to practise and study traditional arts and crafts at the highest level.
Many of the partner organisations that have established these centres are also represented here today. I would like just to thank each of you for joining us today and for everything that you do to deliver these vital education programmes.
Here in London, I am delighted that my School’s partnership with the British Museum will soon bear fruit when the new Albukhary Foundation Gallery of the Islamic World opens to the public in October. So my sincerest thanks go to our trustee, Syed Albukhary, who is a long-standing supporter of the School and has enabled this marvellous collaboration with the British Museum.
As Sir David has mentioned – this degree show is a landmark show, as it is to be the last under the name of The Prince’s School of Traditional Arts. Next year, we will celebrate the first set of students to graduate under the stewardship of my new Prince's Foundation. In the Foundation, my School for Traditional Arts will be an essential part of the wider family of my charities, with all the benefits that I hope this brings, whilst retaining its distinctive aims, ethos and education programmes.
So within the Foundation, the School of Traditional Arts will play an ever stronger and more vital role in ensuring that creativity is constructive and sustaining - in the arts and crafts, in architecture, in community, in our physical environments and in our spiritual lives.
So Ladies and Gentlemen, I hope you will agree that the marvellous display of talent and hard work that we see here at this year's degree show offers an inspiring testimony to the enduring beauty and necessity of our traditional arts. I hope too that you will share the very great pride I feel in all that this year's graduate students have achieved and the tremendous hope that it gives me for the future.
Now all that remains is for me to announce the prize winners.