Prince of Wales first Royal to handle Hoard in 1,400 years

By on 19/02/2010 in News

The Prince of Wales will today (Friday) become the first Royal to handle the Staffordshire Hoard in 1,400 years.

His Royal Highness will be able to hold two artefacts from the largest collection of Anglo-Saxon treasure ever found: a highly detailed crumpled gold cross and a decorative gold stud with millefiori glass thought to be of Celtic origin.

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall will visit an exhibition of 118 items from the hoard at The Potteries Museum and Art Gallery, Stoke-on-Trent. Experts believe the craftsmanship of the seventh century treasures to be of high enough quality to have belonged to ancient kings.

Their Royal Highnesses visit Stoke-on-Trent today to celebrate the centenary of the federation of the city's six towns.

Councillor Hazel Lyth, cabinet member for economic development and culture, said: “The Staffordshire Hoard offers a wonderful glimpse into our ancient past and we are thrilled to give Their Royal Highnesses the chance to see and handle some of these treasures.”

Prince Charles' ancestors date back to Anglo-Saxon times, most notably through Ealhswith, the wife of Alfred the Great. She was the granddaughter of the Mercian kind Wigmund and great-granddaughter of Wiglaf, both from the 820s and 830s.

The exhibition at The Potteries Museum and Art Gallery includes 40 items of the Hoard that have never been seen before. In the first five days of the display the exhibition attracted 10,000 visitors, including people from Essex and Cornwall and visitors from as far afield as South Carolina in America, and Sweden. The exhibition will run between 10am - 5pm every day until Sunday 7 March.

To donate to the Hoard please visit www.artfund.org/hoard or call 0844 415 4004.

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