Huge crowds gather to greet Royal visitor to Derbyshire - pictures and video

Huge crowds gathered to meet HRH The Countess of Wessex in Derbyshire on Tuesday.

Wednesday, 21st November 2018, 2:00 pm
Updated Wednesday, 21st November 2018, 2:04 pm

More than 1,000 people greeted The Countess on her official visit to open David Nieper Academy in Alfreton and take a tour of the David Nieper fashion house.

The Countess was welcomed to the academy by headteacher, Dr Kathryn Hobbs and chair of trustees, Christopher Nieper, as well as employer partners, teaching staff and students.

The academy, formerly known as Alfreton Grange and Mortimer Wilson has been at the heart of the Alfreton community since the 1930s and recently started a new chapter in its history, when David Nieper Education Trust took over the governance of the school in September 2016. Since then, the school has moved into a new building and doubled student numbers.

HRH The Countess of Wessex officially opens the David Nieper Academy in Alfreton, the Countess meets primary children
HRH The Countess of Wessex officially opens the David Nieper Academy in Alfreton, the Countess meets primary children

Dr Hobbs said: “This visit marks a real milestone in the history of our school.”

The Countess made a second stop in Alfreton at the David Nieper fashion house, where she was given a tour of the sewing rooms and presented with a gift.

Mr Nieper said: “We are grateful to The Countess for her support.”

The Countess had also been due to attend Gussie’s Kitchen at Saint Augustine’s Church, Chesterfield, to meet people who use the foodbank on a regular basis - but that visit was cancelled.

HRH The Countess of Wessex officially opens the David Nieper Academy in Alfreton, the Countess unveils a plaque with help from some students

A Palace spokesperson said: “The Countess of Wessex travelled by helicopter to attend engagements in Northampton and Derbyshire today.

“Due to inclement weather, the return journey was brought forward for safety reasons and the final engagement of the day in Chesterfield was subsequently cancelled.

“The visit will be rescheduled in due course.”

HRH The Countess of Wessex officially opens the David Nieper Academy in Alfreton, the Countess meets primary children
HRH The Countess of Wessex officially opens the David Nieper Academy in Alfreton, the Countess meets academy staff
HRH The Countess of Wessex officially opens the David Nieper Academy in Alfreton, the Countess meets students
HRH The Countess of Wessex officially opens the David Nieper Academy in Alfreton, the Countess meets students