A ROYAL visitor dropped in at Winchester Cathedral to give their seal of approval to a landmark exhibition.

HRH The Earl of Wessex, accompanied by the Lord-Lieutenant of Hampshire, was welcomed to the Cathedral by The Very Reverend Catherine Ogle, Dean of Winchester, and The Right Reverend Tim Dakin, Bishop of Winchester.

Prince Edward enjoyed a guided tour of Kings and Scribes: The Birth of a Nation, a three-level exhibition in the South Transept that explores over 1,000 years of history and highlights Winchester’s role in the birth of the English nation.

During the visit, the Earl of Wessex was introduced to those individuals who have been involved in the inception, design and installation of the new exhibition, including Cathedral staff and volunteers, architects, exhibition designers and contractors.

The visit concluded with a special service of celebration in the Nave to give thanks for what has been achieved. The service was attended by HRH, civic dignitaries, the Cathedral community and many others who contributed towards the successful opening of Kings and Scribes: The Birth of a Nation in May this year.

Ms Ogle said: "We are thrilled to welcome HRH The Earl of Wessex to Winchester Cathedral as we approach the culmination of an inspiring series of projects which have transformed the Cathedral.

"It has been a delight to share our wonderful new exhibition with HRH and we are thankful for his on-going support throughout the projects as our Royal Patron. As we give thanks for everything that has been achieved we look forward to the future in faith and with hope."

Prince Edward has taken a keen interest in the Cathedral’s £20.5 million Capital Appeal Project since he became its Royal Patron in 2013.

Thirteen projects have been realised over the last eight years, including urgent repair work to the Presbytery roof and roof bosses and the creation of an award-winning Learning Centre. The opening of Kings and Scribes: The Birth of a Nation in May 2019 marked the culmination of the Capital Appeal Project, made possible thanks to a grant of £11.2 million from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Annabelle Boyes, receiver general of Winchester Cathedral and project director, said: “I extend my grateful thanks to the generous donors and the countless individuals who have made the realisation of the Capital Appeal Project possible.

"In particular, I would like to praise the super team of staff and volunteers at Winchester Cathedral who have worked together on this project over the last eight years. Their commitment, enthusiasm and dedication has been truly admirable.”