Belfast Telegraph

Countess of Wessex to join Colombia's first lady on nursery visit

Colombia's first lady will today visit a London nursery, founded by actress Vanessa Redgrave, with the Countess of Wessex.

Maria Clemencia Rodriguez de Santos and Sophie will tour the Vanessa Nursery School and Cathnor Park Children's Centre in Shepherd's Bush, West London after meeting the award winning celebrity.

Mrs Rodriguez de Santos has joined her husband, Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos, on his historic three-day trip to the UK, the first state visit by a leader of the South American nation.

While her husband attends a breakfast business meeting at Buckingham Palace the First Lady will be travelling to the nursery.

Mrs Rodriguez de Santos is interested in the early development of children and has dedicated her charitable work towards the expansion of early childhood care, nutrition, health and education, with a strategy called De Cero A Siempre - Zero to Forever.

The first lady, known to her family as Tutina, is the mother of their three grown-up children Martin, Maria Antonia and Esteban.

Vanessa Nursery School was established in 1973 by the Vanessa Redgrave Educational Trust and offers high quality, child-centred early education to local children aged three to four years old.

Last night during a glittering Buckingham Palace banquet the Queen paid tribute to Mr Santos who has helped broker an historic deal with left-wing Farc (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) rebels which earned him the Nobel Peace Prize.

During the day the Colombian leader will hold talks at Downing Street with Theresa May, in what is the first state visit since she became Prime Minister.

The president will also travel to Northern Ireland on Thursday to meet community leaders in Belfast and discuss the challenges of community reconciliation post-conflict.

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