Princess Anne's whistle-stop tour of Bristol
Sweet potato soup, ice cream made with liquid nitrogen and a moving toy celebrating the best of Bristol's engineering history were some of the highlights of the Princess Royal's visit to the Bridge Learning Campus in Hartcliffe.
Princess Anne officially opened the £37 million south Bristol learning centre yesterday before moving on to the city centre, where she opened the £61m Bristol Heart Institute and called in at the Centre for Deaf People.
The princess, who wore a brown tweed skirt suit and pearls, met scores of people and was presented with several posies during the course of her sunny day in the city.
She arrived at the Bridge, an all-age education centre that opened last January, to be welcomed by some of the youngest pupils, who were waving home-made flags and streamers and a welcome sign. Chloe Bradbury, seven, handed the princess some flowers.
Enjoy one free child admission with a full paying adult ticket.
Terms: Not to be used in conjunction with any discounted ticket or special ticket offer. No cash alternative. Excludes Bank Holidays and Bank Holiday Weekends. Ref: This is Bristol Website Voucher
Contact: 01963 400330
Valid until: Friday, January 31 2014
"It was exciting," said Chloe. "She said I was very kind."
Princess Anne spent an hour-and-a-half touring the campus and meeting nursery, primary and secondary school pupils as well as those from New Fosseway Special School, the student support unit and City of Bristol College. She also spoke to parents and staff.
Some of the youngest had been preparing for her visit by dressing as princesses and by doing work on what they thought a princess would look like.
The Princess Royal sampled home-made soup in the student support unit, where teenagers were preparing a three-course lunch, and she viewed the ice cream-making in a Year 11 girls' science lesson.
Engineering is the school's specialism so students, with the help of design technology teacher Simon Carson, made her a moving toy that included Isambard Kingdom Brunel raising his hat, the ss Great Britain riding the waves, the Clifton Suspension Bridge, the Great Western Railway and Concorde.
It was handed over by Year 7 students Katie Pring and Kayleigh Collins, while more flowers were presented by Kelsey Kosakoviecz and Jenny Talbot, both nine.
The princess told students that their new school was rather special.
"It is what you make of those facilities that will really make the difference," she said.
Bristol South MP Dawn Primarolo, who missed the start of the first day back at the House Commons to attend the opening, said the campus had been a dream that had taken more than a decade to be realised.
"I can't believe the transformation," she said. "Hard work has made sure that today we are here in a building on a campus that people all over the country are looking at."
Other guests at the event were Bristol's Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress Chris and Sue Davies, the Lord Lieutenant Mary Prior, and Bristol's strategic director of children, young people and skills Annie Hudson.
The princess moved on to the Bristol Heart Institute, which opened to patients in May.
It brings cardiology and cardiac surgery services under one roof, allowing staff to provide more seamless care for heart patients. University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust chairman John Savage welcomed the princess to the institute, along with chief executive Dr Graham Rich, and Dr Peter Wilde, head of the division of specialised services, who introduced her to Department of Health, NHS and local government representatives.
The princess was given a tour of the building where she was shown around the catheter laboratories and hybrid theatre, where surgeons and cardiologists undertake joint procedures.
During her visit, Princess Anne unveiled a plaque to mark the occasion.
Mr Savage said: "We are delighted and honoured that the Princess Royal has opened our flagship building. It brings together the very best in ground-breaking research, innovative treatment, gifted and skilled staff in a building designed to aid the healing process."
Next on the princess's tour was a visit to the Centre for Deaf People, in King Square, as part of its 125th anniversary celebrations.
Chief executive John Maslen said: "This visit from the princess is just what the centre needs. It's a great boost for the deaf community."
During her hour-long tour, the princess met members of the deaf community groups from 125 Committee; the Youth Department; the 50 Plus Club; the Learning Difficulties Communication Group and the Hard of Hearing and Lip reading group.
The princess also spent time in the chapel where signed mass is held fortnightly.
Children from Elmfield School for Deaf Children and a group from the Youth Club gave a presentation on their youth activities and five-year-old Rosie May Potter presented the princess with a bouquet.
Princess Anne unveiled a plaque, and she was presented with an 125-anniversary Blue Glass plate by secretary Lynn Hawkins, and 10-year-old Ciaran O'Brien presented the princess with a Blue Glass paper weight.