Our young people have had many opportunities to perform at lots of special and unique occasions, but Saturday 25th June 2016 was extra special as they had the honour of performing for his Royal Highness King Letsie III of Lesotho and Queen ‘Masenate Mohato Seeiso (Queen Consort of King Letsi III of Lesotho) as well as the Minister of Culture of Lesotho, Paul Butler Bishop of Durham, Alasdair MacConachie OBE (Vice Lord Lieutenant of County Durham) and an array of dignitaries.

The private event took place in the beautiful St Peters Chapel at Auckland Castle. The King and Queen Consort and The Minister of Culture took time out from the formalities of the evening to speak to each young person individually and they were most interested in our students talents and their life in Durham. The King praised each one in turn for their wonderful contribution to the performance and was truly moved by their passion and professionalism as were the rest of the audience.

Durham has a strong relationship with Lesotho through the Durham – Lesotho link which was set up thirty years ago. In 2006 Prince Harry (British Royal Family)and the King’s brother Prince Seeiso (of the Lesotho Royal Family) set up Sentebale (which means ‘forget me not’ in Sesotho in memory of Princess Diana and the King’s mother) to help Lesotho’s disadvantaged young people.

Very few young people ever get an opportunity to perform and then to be personally presented to a King and Queen. What a huge honour it was for all who performed on this evening.

Tonight many dreams came true and it was certainly an event that will live in the hearts of all for many years to come.