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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Prince Charles to visit Eisteddfod's opening day

* The Eisteddfod's famous opening parade.
This year’s Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod will have a royal visitor when the Prince of Wales calls on the opening day of the annual event, Tuesday, July 7.
Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall will be there in the afternoon for the opening day Parade of Nations led by Eisteddfod President Terry Waite, CBE.
The Royal couple are scheduled to arrive by helicopter and make their way to the Royal International Pavilion just after 4pm, escorted by the Lord Lieutenant, Mr Harry Fetherstonhaugh and Mrs Davina Fetherstonhaugh.
He will introduce the Royal party to Eisteddfod Chairman, Gethin Davies, and other Eisteddfod officers before chatting with competitors who are taking part in the parade.
The Prince and the Duchess will then watch as the Parade sets off on its annual route into the town and back to the Pavilion before leaving at about 4.45pm.
The Eisteddfod is no stranger to Royal visits – in 1953 a visit to the Eisteddfod, was one of the first of the Queen’s official engagements after her coronation.
This is the third time the Prince of Wales has been to the Eisteddfod. He and Diana came 30 years ago in 1985 while in 2006 he came with the Duchess of Cornwall and other Royal visitors have been Princesses Margaret and Anne.
The Queen was also at the Eisteddfod in 1992 to open the Royal International Pavilion and one person to have seen all the Royal visits is Chairman Gethin Davies, 76, who is thrilled at the prospect of the Prince’s return.
The retired solicitor, who has been involved with the event since he began selling programmes for it back in 1951, said: “I remember the very first time the Queen came in 1953 when I was a teenage usher while still a pupil at Llangollen Grammar School.
“It is a great honour to have Prince Charles here again 30 years after his first visit. He has really seemed to enjoy coming here in the past and we’re very pleased to have the honour of his presence here for the third time.”
This year’s Eisteddfod also has musical royalty with the first ever appearance in North Wales of American song-writing legend Burt Bacharach who will play a curtain-raising concert on Monday night.
Prince Charles’s former Royal harpist Catrin Finch will perform on Wednesday evening at a concert to celebrate South American music and the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Welsh colony n Patagonia.
At the Thursday night concert heart-throb tenor Alfie Boe will be joined on stage by Britain’s Got Talent star Jonathan Antoine, on Friday night the immensely popular Canadian singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright will perform and TV choirmaster Gareth Malone will be on stage for the Choir of the World competition on Saturday.
For the final concert, Ali Campbell, the voice of UB40 who sold 70 million records, will be reunited on the eisteddfod stage with two other founding members of the group, percussionist, trumpet player and vocalist Astro and keyboard player Mickey.
Children’s Day and the Parade of Nations, led by Eisteddfod President Terry Waite will take place on the Tuesday afternoon before the evening Heart of Llangollen concert.
Wednesday’s programme will include a new competition for the International Young Musician of the Year as well as the Children’s Choir of the World while Thursday’s competitions will see another first, the International Voice of Musical Theatre Trophy.
The Blue Riband event, the Choir of the World for the Pavarotti Trophy, is decided on Saturday night as well as the Open Dance competition and Sunday sees the Eisteddfod let its hair down for Llanfest before the climactic final concert.
* For more details on the 2015 festival go to the website at

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