Charles plans his own college to challenge trendy teaching
By John Clare, Education Editor
The Prince of Wales announced plans yesterday to set up his own teacher training institute to "fill the gap many in education believe has existed for too long".
He condemned "voguish preoccupations of the present", such as teaching children text messages, and demanded to know what need there was for the debate about the future of English teaching launched by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority.
Prince Charles said learning needed to be 'organic'"We would be selling our young people short if we allowed short-term, fashionable approaches to become excessively dominant," the prince told the fourth of his summer schools for teachers of English and history.
"We would undermine the foundations of civilised existence if we lost the vital balance between 'relevance' and a shared cultural heritage based on the transmission of a body of knowledge."
The aims of the college, for which he is seeking a permanent home, would be to "underpin timeless principles which form the bedrock of teaching" and "strengthen the essence of good classroom practice - knowledge taught well by expert and enthusiastic teachers".
Too many ideas had become orthodoxies because teachers were not given time to reflect and challenge them.
"The voguish preoccupations of the present are allowed to divert attention from perennially valuable insights drawn from the past. Why has it been suggested that people be asked to discuss the use of 'texting' and instant messaging and whether such developments require significant change to the teaching of English?
"It seems to many teachers that there is little enough time in the classroom to introduce pupils to the classics of English literature.
"Why do we need a 'great debate' at all on the nature of English? Can it be right that demanding texts be removed from the curriculum in favour of those that are more immediately 'relevant'?
"We should surely do all in our power to introduce young people to the beauty of the English language and the joys of English literature.
"As part of the development of 'social skills', might it not be a good idea to re-discover the concept of good manners, courtesy and consideration for others?"
Emphasising the importance of "coherent, chronological story-telling history teaching and the power of narrative in teaching English", the prince said learning needed to be "organic".
"Teaching must not become a 'genetically modified' hybrid cutting us off from our cultural and historical heritage."
John Dunford, the general secretary of the Secondary Heads' Association, said a teacher training college for professional development was completely unnecessary.
"The prince is dropping a pebble into the pond to see if it makes a few ripples."
The Duchess of Cornwall got a chance to share her husband's passion for exotic cultures when the recently-married couple attended the premiere of a new Bollywood movie. She and Charles received a vibrant welcome as they arrived for the charity screening of Mystic India and were both presented with garlands of bright flowers.
Camilla bowed her head and made a traditional "namaste" greeting by placing her hands together as a necklace of blue, orange and white chrysanthemums was placed around her neck. And her husband, looking dapper in a tuxedo, repeated the gesture when he bowed his head to receive an identical garland.
Things got a little trickier when ten-year-old Mitul Patel stepped forward to give each of the royal visitors a good luck charm. Struggling to attach a red string bracelet to the future king's wrist, the youngster complained: "I can't see." He soon completed his task, however, leading Charles to joke: "Don't tie it too tight or the blood won't get through."
Seven-year-old Krupa Patel, who was given the job of presenting a red rose to Camilla, could barely contain her excitement. As soon as she had handed over the flower the little girl threw her arms around the royal guest and gave her a big hug too.
Charles and Camilla were also treated to displays of traditional dancing and music prior to the screening at the British Science Museum's enormous IMAX cinema. The movie, which tells the story of a young boy who walked 8,000 miles across India, was projected onto a screen the height of four double-decker buses.
1. The Duchess bows her head to receive a colourful garland of chrysanthemums
2. Little Krupa Patel decided Camilla deserved more than just a floral tribute so she gave her a big hug too
__________________ Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift... That's why it's called present...
TRH The Prince Of Wales and The Duchess Of Cornwall attend the annual Founders Day Parade at the Royal Hospital Chelsea on June 9, 2005 in London, England. Designed by Sir Christopher Wren, the hospital was founded in 1682 by King Charles II as a home for British army veterans, and is today home to around 330 former soldiers, known as Chelsea Pensioners.
Charles and Camilla Pay Tribute to Chelsea Pensioners
By Laura Elston, PA Deputy Court Correspondent
The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall carried out the annual inspection of the scarlet-coated Chelsea Pensioners today in a colourful parade filled with pomp and ceremony.
Around 300 elderly ex-servicemen in their famous bright red tunics and gold-edged black tricorn hats braved the blazing midday sun to stand to attention for the royal couple.
Between them, they have notched up more than 10,000 years of service to their country with the oldest “in” pensioner celebrating his hundredth birthday two weeks ago.
Those too frail or unable to stand greeted Charles and Camilla while sitting on wooden benches or motorised buggies around the edge of Figure Court in the Royal Hospital Chelsea in London.
Both the Prince and the Duchess wore sprigs of oak leaves in their lapels to celebrate the occasion.
The Founder’s Day Parade honours King Charles II who set up the hospital in 1682 to care for soldiers unfit for further duty because of injury or old age.
The oak leaves, also worn by the former servicemen, is a reference to the tree in which Charles II hid as he escaped after the Battle of Worcester in 1651.
The Prince, who was dressed in his lieutenant general military uniform, paid tribute to the dedication the men had shown.
Standing in front of a gilded statue of Charles II, the heir to the throne said: “Gentlemen. Resplendent in your scarlet uniforms, you are a constant reminder of the debt we owe to those who have served this nation over the years.
“We salute you and wish you health and continued happiness in this illustrious and historic hospital.”
He added: “The pensioners at the Royal Hospital continue to represent the enduring qualities of service life, duty, discipline and above all self-sacrifice.”
During the event, nurses handed out bottles of water and cups of orange squash to the ex-soldiers as the sun beat down on the parade ground.
The pensioners performed a steady march around the ground to the sound of a military brass band. Six of the men in motorised buggies joined the tail end of the parade, rolling over the neatly trimmed grass in pairs generating a round of applause from the watching guests.
Prior to the start of the ceremony, Camilla, who was dressed in a taupe linen coat and dress with matching hat decorated in pheasant feathers, met Richard Halls.
Despite being 93, the in-pensioner showed he still had a good strong handshake.
Wheelchair-bound Mr Halls, who slept through a meeting with the Prince, awoke just in time to greet the Duchess.
Taking his white gloved hand, she said: “How very nice to meet you. You’re obviously well looked-after.”
However, as Camilla attempted to say goodbye to the former soldier, Mr Halls kept a tight grip on her hand, prompting her to grin broadly.
Finally staff nurse Igor Danylyuk intervened to release the nonagenarian’s firm grasp on the royal visitor.
And the Duchess also met Baroness Thatcher at a reception in the hospital.
The former Prime Minister, dressed in a light blue coat and black hat and who was without a walking stick, gave a deep curtsey on meeting Camilla and the pair chatted for several minutes.
The Duchess also wore, entwined in her oak leaves, a brooch in the shape of two purple and yellow pansies.
During the parade, she and the Prince walked up and down the lines of pensioners, greeting each one.
At one point she chatted to those lining a row of benches just a metre in front of a 20-strong batch of photographers who made the most of their close up view of the Duchess.
During his speech later, Charles paid tribute to 100-year-old Alf Swingler – the hospital’s oldest resident.
"God save our Gracious Queen,
Long live our Noble Queen,
God save The Queen"
God save Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
Camilla, duchess of Cornwall, has pink rose with spicy fragrance named after her
The Associated Press
LONDON — It's pink with a spicy fragrance: introducing the new Duchess of Cornwall rose, named for Prince Charles' new wife.
Camilla, duchess of Cornwall, will be presented with a specimen of the rose named for her when she and Charles attend a gardening show at Birmingham in central England next week, officials said Thursday.
A donation from the sale of each rose bush will be given to the National Osteoporosis Society, of which the duchess is president. The money will be used to support its work helping sufferers and research into the debilitating bone-wasting condition.
Adam Pasco, editor of the British Broadcasting Corp.'s "Gardeners' World" magazine, which is sponsoring the gardening show, said the royal couple would be most welcome.
"With his commitment to organic farming and environmental issues, I'm sure (the prince) will be interested to see how gardeners are increasingly finding ways to create habitats for wildlife in their gardens," he said.
"Gardening with nature, and growing salads, vegetables and fruits organically are now important themes at the show, as are a range of recycling, composting and environmental issues."
It's traditional for roses and lilies and other flowers to have varieties named after female royals. I think Sophie has a lily named after her, and the Queen and Queen Mother and Princess Margaret all have roses named after them (Queen Elizabeth, Elizabeth of Glamis, and Margaret Rose).
As the Duchess of Cornwall honoured veterans at the Royal Hospital's Founders Day parade with the Prince of Wales, it was revealed that nature-loving Camilla is to be bestowed with a distinction of her own.
A rose – pink, with a spicy fragrance – has been named after the newlywed, and proceeds from the sale of each Duchess of Cornwall blossom will go to the National Osteoporosis Society, of which Camilla is president. The flower will be presented to the Duchess when she and Charles attend a Birmingham gardening show next week.
Meanwhile, Camilla's walkabout skills are clearly blossoming, as demonstrated by the reception she received at Thursday's colourful Founders Day parade in Chelsea. The Duchess carried out the inspection of 300 pensioners at the Royal Hospital event, which honours King Charles II.
Wearing an oak leaf corsage, a reference to the King's escape from enemies by hiding in an oak tree after the 1651 Battle of Worcester, Camilla met a number of former servicemen, including 93-year-old Richard Halls, who had napped through his audience with the Prince.
King Charles II established the hospital, which currently serves veterans ranging in age from 64 to 100, in 1682.
1. Standing alongside the Prince Of Wales, Camilla attended Royal Hospital's annual Founders Day parade on Thursday
2. The same day the couple met with former servicemen at the hospital, it was revealed that the Duchess will have a rose named after her
__________________ Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift... That's why it's called present...
Prince praises classical victory for old soldiers
By Caroline Davies
The Prince of Wales, a vociferous critic of extreme modern architecture, was at the Royal Hospital in Chelsea yesterday to witness classical design triumph over modernism.
Just as he was inspecting the annual Founder's Day parade of Chelsea Pensioners, news broke that controversial plans for a new Palladian-style £20 million infirmary, next to Sir Christopher Wren's main hospital building, would go ahead despite calls by the champions of modernism for a planning inquiry.
The decision by John Prescott's office that there would be no planning inquiry means the hospital can press on with the designs, submitted by Quinlan Terry, a sometime adviser on architecture to the prince, to the presumed disappointment of its chief opponents, Lord Foster and Lord Rogers.
The prince was said to be delighted when informed of the decision just after he and the Duchess of Cornwall presided over a march-past by the more able-bodied of the 300 scarlet-coated pensioners who gathered for the parade.
"The prince has been informed and is very pleased with the news," said a spokesman as the prince and duchess were ushered towards the governor's marquee to meet guests, including Baroness Thatcher, who at 79 performed a sprightly curtsey for the duchess.
Although Mr Terry's design was passed by the local planning authority and approved by English Heritage and the Council for Architecture and the Built Environment, the project was thrown into confusion by objections from Lord Foster and Lord Rogers, who claimed that it would be "damaging in the extreme both to the setting of one of this country's most important historic buildings and the art of architecture".
Mr Terry accused the lords of trying to sabotage the project, just as it was about to enter the construction phase.
Mr Prescott's office yesterday ruled out a planning inquiry, saying the Deputy Prime Minister had concluded that there was "not sufficient conflict in this case with national planning policies" to justify his intervention.
The Marquess of Salisbury, the chairman of the Chelsea Pensioner's Appeal Committee, set up to raise the required £35 million for the new infirmary and refurbishment of parts of the old building, said: "Once again, Founder's Day has proved to be a joyful celebration of the Chelsea Pensioners and the Royal Hospital. This news has certainly added to the celebrations now that we have announced that the building of the new infirmary is due to go ahead."
Earlier the prince paid tribute to the pensioners, who between them have notched up more than 10,000 years service to their country.
"Gentlemen. You are a constant reminder of the debt we owe to those who have served this nation. We salute you and wish you health and happiness,'' he said.