Princess Anne has helped mark the 200th anniversary of a prison.
The princess visited Canterbury Prison in Kent, where she met with staff past and present to hear about its two-century old history and unveiled a plaque to commemorate the landmark occasion.
The front of the building – founded in 1808 – bears the inscription House of Correction and it originally housed 50 inmates. All of its prisoners now are foreign nationals.
The princess is quoted by the Kentish Gazette as saying: “Anniversaries are great occasions to reflect not only on what has changed, but also on what hasn’t changed, in terms of prisoners and their basic requirements.
“Now that you have foreign nationals you’re finding you’re having to change on an international scale.
“Canterbury Prison has held a place for the last 200 years, which I think is quite extraordinary and an atmosphere which I think people recognise is quite unlike anything else.”
It was the second time the Princess has been to the prison – after previously visiting as part of her role as patron of offenders rehabilitation charity, The Butler Trust.
Later in the day, Anne opened a centre built and to be used by disabled children. The facility, in Herne Bay, contains a spa pool, sensory room, computer room and a specially adapted kitchen.
Also attached to the Windchimes Centre is a six-bedroomed house – dubbed The Beach Hut – where children with the most complex needs can stay for up to three nights.
The centre has been built in a partnership between Kent County Council, Eastern and Coastal Kent Primary Care Trust and The Children’s Society, of which the princess is also patron.