East Durham College staff with the Royal Party from Lesotho

Houghall Campus Hosts Royal Visitor

Last weekend East Durham College’s Houghall campus had a special visitor, King Letsie III of Lesotho.

The King, along with Queen Masenate Mohato Seeiso, visited the college campus as part of their visit to the Diocese of Durham, celebrating 30 years of the Durham Diocese–Lesotho Link.


Alongside The Rt Revd Paul Butler, the King and Queen toured the college site learning about its history and future, seeing details on the stunning new £12 million development, before visiting the small animal care unit and being treated to a sheep shearing demonstration by students.


During their time in the region, The Royal Party, also visited Venerable Bede Church, The National Glass Centre, Upper Teesdale Agricultural Support Service, a Twenty20 game at Durham County Cricket Club and a special service of celebration of the thirty year Durham-Lesotho Link.


East Durham College principal, Suzanne Duncan, thanked The Royal Party for their visit during their time in the region and hailed it as a very special morning for the Houghall campus.


Suzanne said: “It was fantastic to have the King and Queen come along and share some time with us on their short visit to Durham to celebrate the special link between Durham and Lesotho.


“His Majesty was really interested with the site, both its history and its future, and praised the importance of land-based education. 


“This was a special moment for the Houghall campus and a huge honour.”


The King left a quote in the Houghall visitor’s book reading: “We thank you for hosting us at this wonderful educational college for agricultural students.


“We wish you well and success in the future.”


The Revd Margaret Bianchi, Executive Director of the DurhamLesotho LINK said: “I am delighted that their Royal Highnesses have been able to accept Bishop Paul’s invitation and be with us to celebrate thirty years of the LINK.


“The King has often attended significant LINK events in Lesotho, he is also patron of the Lesotho Royal Lifesaving Society which the LINK set up, and so it is fantastic that he is able to be here and for us to show him around the Diocese taking in places and areas of mutual interest.


“The Link is important because of its long term commitment to Lesotho, particularly working with youth and vulnerable people. It models a realistic style of sustainability and, through the partnership, enables people in Durham to gain an understanding of developing world issues.”