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Thursday, June 20, 2024
Letter: King Charles renews his role as Willowbank’s royal patron
Letter to the editor. File

Dear editor:

Exactly 10 years after Willowbank first received royal patronage from the then-Prince of Wales, in mid-May, marking the first anniversary of the coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla, we received a letter from the principal private secretary to the King and Queen.

Sir Clive Alderton informed us of the completion of a review of the patronages of the late Queen, of Charles when he was Prince of Wales and the former Duchess of Cornwall.

Following a thorough analysis of more than 1,000 organizations, we were told the King is delighted to remain a patron of the Willowbank School of Restoration Arts.

Royal patronage recognizes the achievements of organizations and the contributions of different sectors of Canada’s public life.

It also reflects the areas of personal interest to Charles, of which Willowbank’s approach to bridging heritage with sustainability, is just one.

“Willowbank is devoted to the shift towards a more ecological, sustainable approach. My aim is to support and encourage these kinds of approaches,” he noted in his decision in 2014.

We are ecstatic that the King continues to see value in the Willowbank mission.

For the School of Restoration Arts, this patronage means a link with established programs, including the King’s Foundation.

And we’re proud to say that, 10 years on, this partnership continues to thrive and two of our students are heading to the foundation’s summer school this year to develop their knowledge of traditional architecture, design, building and repair techniques (thanks to a generous investment from the Humeniuk Foundation).

Further endorsement of Willowbank by the King as royal patron highlights the recognition of the school’s innovative approach to heritage conservation and its approach to the stewardship of historical places and sustainable communities through a model of education that balances both theoretical and practical.

The King’s decision to retain patronage of Willowbank is a tremendous honour, and we are very grateful for his public support and look forward to growing this relationship.

Elizabeth Oliver-Malone
Archivist emeritus
Willowbank School
of Restoration Arts

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