Their Royal Highnesses Crown Prince Alexander and Crown Princess Katherine attended the four days marking of the 20th anniversary of Saint Catherine Foundation in London. HRH Crown Princess Katherine has been the president of the American Associates of Saint Catherine Foundation for 15 years and a Trustee in the United Kingdom. Funds were raised for the reconstruction of this magnificent monastery in the Sinai in Egypt. The weekend of celebration was organized by the Trustees and Directors of the British Saint Catherine Foundation, American Associates and Swiss Friends, in cooperation with Royal Geographic Society in London.
All the attendees enjoyed the privileged access to a world of exceptional treasures from Egypt’s ancient past. The celebration weekend started with the conference accompanying the “Boissonnas in Egypt” exhibition, which looked at the ways Egypt was seen through photography in the period between the world wars. Open to an audience of academics and specialists, the conference took a multi-disciplinary approach to the subject, with papers presented by international scholars. The exhibition followed, featuring photographs of Egypt, Sinai and Saint Catherine’s Monastery. The works on display date from the 1920s and 30s and include iconic images of the desert and Saint Catherine’s taken on Boissonnas’s legendary expeditions to Sinai in 1929 and 1933. L’Egypte, the magnificent volume of photographs commissioned by King Fuad I of Egypt and published by Fred Boissonnas in 1932, is a centerpiece of the exhibition.
The guests also had an opportunity to visit Sir John Soane’s Museum, Apsley House, the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, Highclere Castle, Royal Geographical Society, Bridgewater House and Leighton House.
The Saint Catherine Foundation supports conservation work at Saint Catherine’s Monastery, Sinai, Egypt. The monastery was built between 548 and 565 AD, and it is one of the oldest working Christian monasteries in the world. The site contains the world’s oldest continually operating library, possessing many unique books including the Syriac Sinaiticus and, until 1859, the Codex Sinaiticus. His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales is the Patron of the British associates of Saint Catherine Monastery.
President George H. W. Bush is the Patron of the American Associates, HRH Crown Princess Katherine is also a trustee of the British Associates. The Foundation maintains a close relationship with a number of institutions in the United Kingdom, Europe and America, as well as with some of the leading universities, museums and libraries on cultural, educational and fundraising events and initiatives.