PRINCE Charles is set to pay a visit to Southend this month, it has been revealed.

His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales will visit the Palace Theatre on Wednesday, January 29, to attend a special lunchtime performance as part of the Shakespeare Schools Festival.

The Duchess of Cornwall will also be in attendance, as 30 children from six schools spanning the country perform, including pupils from Southend’s very own Futures Community College.

The prince last saw the festival in 2004 at a West End performance. Since then, the festival has featured more than 100,000 schoolchildren aged eight to 18 perform in shows across the country.

The Palace Theatre has a long association with the festival, having hosted performances for a number of years.

Theatre director Ellen McPhillips said it was always a wonderful event.

She said: “We are, of course, incredibly delighted that HRH the Prince of Wales, and his wife, will be visiting the Palace Theatre.

“We are aware of the prince’s interest in architecture and the festival, and we hope he will be interested in the Palace Theatre building itself, which, of course, celebrated its centenary in 2012.”

Southend last received a royal visit in July 2013, when the Duke of Kent officially renamed the £3million cultural centre as the Royal Pavilion.