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Prince Andrew Celebrates 800 Years of Local Democracy in York

Prince Andrew in York

12:01am 9th July 2012
(Updated 6:29am 9th July 2012)

HRH The Duke of York is visiting the city of York today (Monday 9th July 2012), to join in the city's Charter Weekend celebrations, as it marks 800 years since it was granted its Royal Charter by King John in 1212.

The Royal Charter allowed York to take charge of its financial affairs and trade freely in 2012, enabling the city to take its first steps towards the local democracy it enjoys today.

Part of a year-long celebration,  the city's young people will unveil a new Youth Charter for York and a huge tea party will be held for residents in the city centre, with 800 cup cakes made by students of York College.

Following on from a visit by Her Majesty The Queen and huge celebrations for the Olympic Torch Relay, the city has been catapulted onto the global stage this year, with more than four billion people estimated to have seen the coverage of York worldwide.  

PICTURED: Prince Andrew's last visit to York in May 2012

Prince Andrew in York

The council's Cabinet member for Leisure, Culture and Social Inclusion, Councillor Sonja Crisp, comments:

"I am delighted that we are able to welcome another member of the royal family to the city to help us celebrate York 800, after the visit by Her Majesty The Queen in April.

"We've already had an incredible start to the year in York.

"Charter weekend has seen us celebrate the importance of our rivers, with hundreds of boats in our flotilla, Then today (9-7-12) the climax of a project called Ebor Vox ('the voice of York') as 19 choirs process through the city and then come together to sing a new piece called 'This York' by Benjamin Till. They'll be joined by hundreds of schoolchildren, giant puppets, dancers and a brass band for a night to remember in the city!".

City of York Council chief executive Kersten England said:

"Throughout the York 800 celebrations, we've seen superb partnership working across the public, private and voluntary sector communities in our city. We hope that every resident will experience something related to York 800, that visitors will take away special memories of our city, and that businesses elsewhere will see the 'York offer' and want to be an active part of this innovative city of the future."

Highlights still to come in the year-long programme of York 800 events include:

  1. The world -famous York Cycle of Mystery Plays returning to the Museum Gardens in August for the first time since 1988, with a cast of over 1000 volunteers and Ferdinand Kingsley (son of Sir Ben) and Graeme Hawley ('John Stape' in Coronation Street)  in the key roles of God, Jesus and the Devil
  2. York Archives will also unveil a major new exhibition called 'A city making history: 800 years of York's Archives' in late July, revealing just some of the contents of the city's almost unrivalled collection, many on display for the first time
  3. The city's ever popular Illuminating York event in October will see the Museum Gardens transformed into a wonderland
  4. Ideas are being discussed to end the year with a Community New Year's Eve event.

Full details of Charter Weekend and the whole York 800 programme, which runs until 31st December, can be found by clicking here

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