The Princess Royal Attends Service for Sir Ernest Shackleton and his Men

Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, patron of the United Kingdom Antarctic Heritage Trust, accompanied by Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence KCVO CB, attended a Centenary Service of Thanksgiving for the Courage and Endurance of the polar explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton CVO and his Men at Westminster Abbey at Noon on Friday 20th May 2016. The National Anthem was sung.

The service was conducted by the Dean of Westminster, the Very Revered Dr John Hall who said in his Bidding: 'We gather here in Westminster Abbey to celebrate the courage and endurance of Ernest Shackleton and the men he led in three exploratory expeditions in lands previously little known or understood.

'We recognise the risks they endured and the peril they suffered; we marvel at their perseverance and determination; we are inspired by their comradeship and mutual support. We learn that success and failure are both relative terms and that endeavour is to be honoured.

'We shall pray in particular for those who labour in the midst of great
dangers, for those who push back the frontiers of knowledge and for all who
support them, and for those who live and work in the South Atlantic.'

The flag of Sir Ernest Shackleton was borne through the Abbey and presented to the Dean at the High Altar.

The Honourable Alexandra Shackleton read from Shackleton's Boat Journey by Frank Worsley, a member of the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition.

The Right Honourable The Lord Sterling of Plaistow GCVO CBE read Joshua 1: 1, 4-9 and The Princess Royal read Philippians 4: 4-7, 10-13.

Tim Jarvis, leader of the Shackleton Epic Expedition, read Erebus by Sir Ernest Shackleton.

The Address was given by the Right Reverend and Right Honourable Dr Richard Chartres KCVO, Bishop of London.

Prayers were led by the Reverend Christopher Stoltz, Minor Canon and Precentor of Westminster and said by: Professor Julian Dowdeswell, Director of the Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge; Dr Joseph Spence, Master of Dulwich College; the Reverend Professor Vernon White, Canon in Residence; Sarah MacIntosh, representing the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Government of the British Antarctic Territory; Colin Roberts CVO, Governor of the Falkland Islands and Commissioner of South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands; and Donald Lamont, Chairman of the United Kingdom Antarctic Heritage Trust.

Michael King, banjo, played Lament to Kildare.

The service was sung by the Special Service Choir of Westminster Abbey conducted by James O'Donnell, Organist and Master of the Choristers. The organ was played by Daniel Cook, Sub-Organist and, before the service, by Matthew Jorysz, Assistant Organist.

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