The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) announced on Tuesday that it was “delighted” to welcome the Prince of Wales as its new patron.
“The Prince of Wales has a life-long association with the Arts. During the pandemic His Royal Highness spoke about the importance of protecting the Arts, stressing their enormous importance to life in the UK and to the economy,” the announcement reads in part.
And the 72-year-old’s involvement comes at a special time for the orchestra, its 75th anniversary this coming fall. It also announced the entrance of its new music director, Vasily Petrenko.
Britain’s Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, look on during the funeral of Prince Philip, at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle, Windsor, England, Saturday April 17, 2021. Prince Philip died April 9 at the age of 99 after 73 years of marriage to Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II. (Dominic Lipinski/Pool via AP)
“The RPO’s mission to enrich lives through orchestral experiences that are uncompromising in their excellence and inclusive in their appeal, places it at the forefront of music-making in the UK,” the orchestra revealed.
James Williams, managing director at the RPO commented: “The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra is honoured to welcome as its Patron The Prince of Wales, a longstanding champion of the Arts in this country. The era of COVID-19 has presented a seismic challenge for the Arts community but, as lockdown slowly eases, it is time to look forward.”
“At the RPO, we have been hard at work for some months, shaping a bold strategy for our concert, community engagement, inclusion and education programmes to enrich communities when it matters most; we aim to help people and businesses to rebuild after the long, dark months of lockdown. With the announcement of The Prince of Wales as our Patron and the appointment of Vasily Petrenko as our new Music Director, the RPO is well placed to lead the resurgence and spread the joy of orchestral music in a post-COVID world,” Williams’ statement concluded.
Prince Andrew stepped down from his royal duties in 2019 following his after his nuclear BBC interview in Nov. 2019 about his alleged relationship with the late Jeffrey Epstein. (AP)
The news comes just weeks after Princes Charles and Andrew laid their father, Prince Philip, to rest at a televised royal funeral at Windsor Castle. Both British royal family members paid tribute to their late father, the Duke of Edinburgh, in separate statements made after his death.
The Duke of York‘s April 11 announcement about Philip was the first time he spoke out publicly since stepping away from public duties after his nuclear BBC interview in Nov. 2019 regarding his relationship with disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein.
“I loved him as a father,” Andrew told reporters waiting outside. “He was so calm…He was always someone you could go to and he would always listen.”
“We’ve lost, almost, the grandfather of the nation,” Andrew told well-wishers. “And I feel very sorry and supportive of my mother, who’s feeling it probably more than everybody else.”
Andrew added that the queen, 95, “described it as having left a huge void in her life.”
The Duke of Edinburgh passed away on April 9 at age 99.
“It’s my understanding that Edward wasn’t made a duke upon marriage because both the queen and Prince Philip wanted Edward to become the Duke of Edinburgh upon Philip’s death. I believe it will happen,” Bullen said.