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Princess Royal to mark anniversary

PUBLISHED: 16:21 05 June 2008 | UPDATED: 11:11 03 July 2010

Laura Bagshaw

CELEBRATIONS for the 800th anniversary of the granting of Great Yarmouth's Charter will get the royal seal of approval on Monday.

The Princess Royal will be in town to unveil a commemorative plaque at St Nicholas's Church - created as a lasting legacy of the historical commemoration by local stonemason Colin Smith.

CELEBRATIONS for the 800th anniversary of the granting of Great Yarmouth's Charter will get the royal seal of approval on Monday.

The Princess Royal will be in town to unveil a commemorative plaque at St Nicholas's Church - created as a lasting legacy of the historical commemoration by local stonemason Colin Smith.

And following a civic service Princess Anne will walk from the church to the town hall, stopping on the way at Palmers department store, where she will be greeted by company chairman Bruce Sturrock and town centre manager Jonathan Newman.

The Princess will be shown the restoration work at the town hall by borough council leader Barry Coleman and meet representatives from local voluntary organisations and the chamber of commerce.

Organisers hope hundreds of people will line the streets to get a glimpse of Princess Anne.

The Princess is expected to arrive at St Nicholas's Church at about 11.45am and will have a tour of the church as well as meeting representatives from local groups including the King John Working Party, responsible for organising events to mark the occasion.

A plaque outside the church will be unveiled by the Princess and afterwards she will walk to the town hall.

The Royal visit will be preceded by three days of celebrations in the Market Place, with street entertainment including jugglers, minstrels, apple dunking and pelting troublemakers in the stocks.

A special four-day Charter Market opens today and to complement it the Town Centre Partnership has organised additional entertainment and activities throughout the weekend with additional funding from the borough council.

Among the activities planned will be costumed walkabout characters including minstrels, jesters, jugglers, monks, the Black Knight and a fire-eater. There will also be story-telling, re-enactments, children's workshops, and a treasure hunt plus period music and dancing.

Organisers hope Princess Anne will meet market traders - many of whom are dressing up in medieval costume.

The granting of the charter, for an annual fee to King John of £55, gave Yarmouth the status of a free borough forever.

This included the right to appoint bailiffs to govern the town, the administration of justice in certain matters of common law and exemption from paying tolls on goods sold in other towns.

Mayoral civic events officer Laura Goodman said: “We hope many of the market traders will be dressing in medieval costume, and we are asking shopkeepers around the town centre to decorate their premises to celebrate the royal visit.”

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