Independence Hall has once again welcomed a member of the British Royal Family. Prince Edward’s recent visit to Philadelphia included a tour of Independence Hall and the “Great Essentials” exhibit in the West Wing, where he reviewed the park’s copies of the Declaration of Independence and Constitution.
Arriving at Independence Hall just as it closed to the public on April 26th, His Royal Highness greeted visitors who had lined up to see him outside the hall. He then met with and reviewed the troops of the First Troop, Philadelphia City Cavalry. The First City Troop was organized in 1774 in defense of the colonies and is the oldest mounted military unit in continuous service to the Republic.
Prince Edward was welcomed to the park by Superintendent Cynthia MacLeod, who then joined him on a tour of Independence Hall and the West Wing given by Ranger Patricia Schaffenburg.
Currently the Earl of Wessex and Viscount Severn, Prince Edward will be given the title Duke of Edinburgh when the present title now held by Prince Philip eventually reverts to the crown. As well as duties in support of the Queen, the Earl plays an active role in the Duke of Edinburgh's Award, the program for young people set up by his father in the 1950s. He also works on behalf of a number of charities and organisations, particularly those connected with the arts, sports and young people. The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award was the basis for his visit to Philadelphia, as he attended an event with the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award International Association at Girard College.