HRH The Duke of Gloucester visits PRONI to mark 100 years of archives

Date published: 13 October 2023

His Royal Highness, The Duke of Gloucester, visited the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) today in celebration of PRONI’s 100th anniversary.

Photograph of Acting Director of PRONI with HRH The Duke of Gloucester and Head of Private Records Lorraine Bourke

The Duke toured the iconic PRONI building in Titanic Quarter and viewed some of PRONI’s key documents, including files relating to his parents’ visit to Belfast in 1941 following the Belfast Blitz, and PRONI’s oldest document, a papal bull dated 1219.

During the visit The Duke was introduced to staff and the public and received a behind the scenes tour, which included the stores and conservation laboratory. The Duke also unveiled a commemorative plaque to mark his visit during PRONI’s centenary year. 

Acting Director of PRONI, David Huddleston said:

“We were delighted to host a special visit by His Royal Highness, The Duke of Gloucester to PRONI today to mark our centenary year. It was a great opportunity for colleagues to showcase the work of the Public Record Office and the Duke showed a keen interest in the archives and the important role they play in our community.”

Notes to editors: 

  1. Photo captions:  L-R David Huddleston, Acting Director of PRONI with HRH The Duke of Gloucester and Head of Private Records Lorraine Bourke during a visit to celebrate the 100th anniversary of PRONI.
  2. PRONI was established on 22nd June 1923 and currently holds more three million documents,. PRONI opened its doors to the public on 3rd March 1924.
  3. PRONI is based at 2 Titanic Boulevard, Titanic Quarter, Belfast.  For details on opening hours, see or call 028 90 534800. 
  4. The plaque unveiled reads “To commemorate the visit of HRH The Duke of Gloucester KG GCVO to the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland 13th October, 2023 In celebration of 100 years of protecting and providing archives for all”
  5. The records relating to the Duke’s father’s visit in 1941 are CAB/9/R/64/1. PRONI’s oldest record is a papal bull of 1219 from the Abercorn papers. Ref: D623/B/7/1/1.
  6. This is one of a year-long programme of events and activities to mark the centenary of PRONI. PRONI previously welcomed Special Envoy for Northern Ireland, Joe Kennedy III; and hosted a dinner for the annual conference of the Archive Records Association of the UK & Ireland. Further events will continue until next March next year which will  be marked by  a closing celebratory event.
  7. Media enquiries to DfC Press Office via email.
  8. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service for media enquiries between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekend and public holidays. The Duty Press Officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.
  9. Follow the Department on @CommunitiesNI

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