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The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall visit Oxford

16th May 2017

The Prince and The Duchess visit the Covered Market in Oxford

The Prince and The Duchess visit the Covered Market in Oxford

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall visited Oxford today for a series of engagements.

Their Royal Highnesses began the day meeting traders and members of the public at the historic Covered Market.

The Prince and The Duchess met local vendors from small businesses, getting a flavour of Colombian coffee, customised cakes and local cheeses.

Milly Barr, owner of Colombia Coffee Roasters, said: "The Prince was so lovely and funny. He said that he couldn't have too much coffee as he might get palpitations, but I assured him it was only one shot and very light."

The Duchess was presented with a bouquet which featured lily of the valley and primula auricula, flowers used in her own wedding day arrangement.

The Prince then opened the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies' (OCIS) new building, which is located next to Magdalen College. His Royal Highness toured the new building and The Prince of Wales Garden. 

The Prince, who has been Patron of the OCIS since 1993, gave a speech to assembled guests.

His Royal Highness said: "We need to rediscover and explore what unites rather than what divides us.  And that involves a recognition that we have all learned from each other and should continue to do so.  No one culture contains the complete truth.  We are all seekers.  And our search is – or should be – a collective human enterprise.

“That this Centre could perhaps play just the smallest part in this enterprise is my greatest wish.”

The OCIS, a recognized independent centre of Oxford University, aims to provide a meeting point between Islamic and Western worlds of learning.

The Duchess meanwhile paid a solo visit to the charity Maggie's to see how it offers emotional and practical support to people with cancer.

Her Royal Highness was shown how to tie a headscarf by cancer patient Tracy Jameson and watched as Ms Jameson secured the brightly coloured patterned scarf in place.

Maggie's Talking Heads sessions support those with hair loss through demonstrations on how to wear wigs and tie scarves.

The Duchess also looked in on a yoga class at the centre and was given her own vivid orange Maggie's T-shirt.


A speech by HRH The Prince of Wales at the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies

Published on 16th May 2017

Your Majesty, Your Royal Highnesses, Your Excellencies, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, Assalaam alaikum.       

After twenty-four years as Patron, I could not be more delighted to join you all for the inauguration of this outstanding new home for the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies.  That so many distinguished figures have travelled so far to be here – and that many more have sent such heartfelt messages of support for the occasion - is a testament to the strength of the friendships the Centre has forged during the thirty-two years of its existence; and, if I may say so, to the enduring significance of the values upon which the Centre was founded.

Over these past three decades, so many of you here today have encouraged the Centre’s work and contributed to its success.  I am sure that each of you shares my pride in what has been accomplished.  Today is an opportunity both to celebrate everything that the Centre has so far achieved and to demonstrate our collective commitment to its continued success in the years ahead. 

Those of you who, like me, have been associated with the Centre for many years will perhaps recall its modest first home, which was a wooden hut on St Cross Road.  You will also recall, as I do, the ambitions of its founders, even then, to contribute significantly to scholarship both in Oxford and more widely.  Against the thousand-year history of learning in this City, the thirty-two year span of the entire project seems very short indeed.  And yet, ...

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