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A speech by HRH The Prince of Wales at The Prince's School of Traditional Arts Degree Show 2015 - Prince's Trust Australia
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A speech by HRH The Prince of Wales at The Prince’s School of Traditional Arts Degree Show 2015

Ladies and Gentlemen,

As David said I’m afraid I suffer from too much expectation and over ambition so I know the poor people who run this school are run off their feet, but eventually projects get underway and we are only as good, of course, as the support we get and the sponsorship we receive so above all else, this occasion is an opportunity to thank everyone else and all those who are so generous and kind as to understand what the school is trying to do.

None of this would be possible without your support, we wouldn’t be able to give the students the kind of opportunities they have unless we had that kind of support. So this is actually another particularly important occasion in the life of the school, and the degree show. One has to remember this is very much a milestone in the artistic development of the school’s students. So, above all, it’s a celebration of all that the students have learnt and all that you’ve achieved at your time with the school. And I must say, I look forward every year to coming back to see just what has taken place and to see the end result of the two year course. And I very often find some marvellous objects, and some very special work that has been done, and sometimes I can spread the good news about the extraordinary talents of the students elsewhere, as I did in Saudi Arabia last year after coming to this, and I think the two students that I mentioned have also now found that they have been picked up and are now valued in Saudi Arabia.

So, I do hope as each of you pursues your chosen careers you will continue to be inspired as I have been by the wisdom which can be found in the order of nature, which is something that was very much brought home to me many years ago by Professor Keith Critchlow to whom personally I am indebted for having the original idea of establishing the school all those years ago, until I was able to give it a home.

Of course, this particular knowledge has enriched so many generations, and I hope that as ex-students you will also inspire many others with this wisdom to which the modern world has tended to deny access to so many.

Since last year’s degree show the school has continued to expand its outreach programme overseas including the Fustat Diploma Programme in Cairo and the Icherisheher Diploma in Baku. And again, I couldn’t be more proud of these two. Later this year my school outreach programme will be launched at Dumfries House in Scotland, and that is also something I am thrilled about, as well as opportunities in Jeddah and Medina.
So, nothing could give me greater pride than to see my school providing inspiration and encouragement to young people from so many different faiths and backgrounds. By helping these young people understand the universal spiritual truths which underpin the world’s traditional art forms, the school is not only playing a special role in preserving our shared heritage for future generations, but also, I think, inspiring a more enlightened approach to contemporary art, design and engineering.

But I hope, Ladies and Gentlemen, you will forgive me, if this year I also wanted to add my particular and heartfelt thanks to Paul Marchant for his contribution to the school as director of education. Having known Paul for a very long time I think he is a very special component of the school and were all indebted to him for guiding the post graduate education programme since the schools foundation. He has left an utterly invaluable legacy to the teaching practices that he developed, and of course his own academic research. So I do hope that we won’t lose touch, or sight of him altogether.

And now Ladies and Gentlemen I am delighted to announce the winner of this year’s Ciclitira Prize, which goes to Adrian Iurco.