HRH Prince Charles visits Grafton Regis
Why did the current heir to the throne visit the village in the year 2000?
On Monday 4th September, 2000 Grafton Regis had a very special visitor. Because of the village's royal heritage, HRH the Prince of Wales, Prince Charles, together with Her Grace the Duchess of Grafton, honoured us with a visit to commemorate the publication of the book 'Grafton Regis - The History of a Northamptonshire Village', and the re-opening of the Village Hall - both Millenium funded projects. Prince Charles planted a tree at the Hermitage, named the 'Woodville Oak', a symbolic gesture to remember his visit and in remembrance of the famous 'Queen's Oak' where Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville were purported to have first met and fell in love. The Queen's Oak, near Potterspury, burnt down in 1994 and finally died in 1997, although its burnt stump remains to this day. The Woodville Oak now stands instead as a fitting tribute to where Edward married Elizabeth.
The cover of the book published in 2000, on the day of Prince Charles's visit, depicts the Queen's Oak, under which it is reputed that Edward VI and Elizabeth Woodville fell in love.
To celebrate the planting of the Woodville Oak, a peal of Bells was rung and a plaque erected to mark the occasion in the Church. The shovel used by Prince Charles for the tree planting was inscribed and now hangs proudly in the Village Hall. The Prince then inspected the newly decorated Village Hall. See the Gallery below for more images of the occasion.