THE Princess Royal was set to embark on a whistle-stop tour of South Tyneside today.
Her Royal Highness was arriving in South Shields this morning.
Princess Anne’s first port of call was to butcher’s Dicksons, in Heddon Way, Tyne Dock, South Shields, to mark the family-run firm’s 60th anniversary.
She was being welcomed there by the Mayor and Mayoress of South Tyneside, Coun Ernest Gibson and Patricia Ridley, along with South Tyneside Council’s chief executive Martin Swales.
For her next engagement, the princess was at the Mission to Seafarers’ newly refurbished premises at Holborn House, Mill Dam.
She was to be given a tour of the new premises before officially declaring them open.
The princess was also speaking to a veteran of the Arctic convoys, John Claypath, from Sunderland.
She was to end her day at the new Marsden Road Health and Wellbeing Centre, in Horsley Hill, South Shields.
The princess was due to make a guided tour of the centre – including the newly refurbished GP surgery – before seeing a range of community facilities such as the new sports hall and multi-use games area and enjoying afternoon tea with invited guests.
The Princess Royal will be accompanied by Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant for Tyne and Wear, Mr Nigel Sherlock.
Coun Iain Malcolm, leader of South Tyneside Council, said: “We are delighted that The Princess Royal will be coming to South Tyneside to officially open our new health and wellbeing centre.
“To have a member of the Royal family perform the opening is a great honour and celebrates the achievements of all those involved in this very exciting project.
“It will be a day to remember for the local community.”
* Follow Princess Anne’s visit to the borough on Twitter, by using the hashtag #gazroyal
* For stories on the Royal visit, slideshow and videos, log on to www.shieldsgazette.com