HRH The Princess Royal unveiled MCC's Royal Charter at Lord's on Monday 1 July.
Accompanied by Vice-Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, Her Royal Highness spent the morning at the Home of Cricket, meeting members of the MCC Committee, other Members and staff of the Club, and invited guests, including the Lord Mayor of Westminster, Cllr. Sarah Richardson, prior to the unveiling.
Speaking in the Harris Garden following the unveiling, the Princess Royal said: "We really are celebrating a very special occasion; I'm delighted to have unveiled MCC’s Royal Charter in the Pavilion.
"I do hope everybody will take the time to look at the charter, the illustration really does sum up so much of the history and the achievement of MCC and is an entirely worthy approval of this petition."
The Royal Charter unveiled
MCC was first notified by the Privy Council Office that it had been granted a Royal Charter by Her Majesty The Queen at the end of 2012. The Charter, which comes into effect today, alters the Club’s previous status from that of unincorporated association to a body incorporated by Royal Charter.
Incorporation enables the Club to hold assets – not least Lord’s itself – in its own name, rather than through a custodian trustee. It also removes any potential liability of individual Members – as owners of the Club – in the event of MCC finding itself in great financial difficulty.
The Charter, which is sealed in a frame measuring 42 inches wide and 56 inches high, is on display in the Pavilion at Lord’s, and was designed and produced by professional calligrapher and illuminator, Timothy Noad.
The bespoke border incorporates symbols specific to MCC, Lord’s, and cricket, including the Club’s monogram, Father Time and Thomas Lord.
Her Majesty The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh – the Club’s Patron and a past President respectively – are also represented, as are each of the Test cricket playing nations, by the inclusion of their national flowers.
MCC President, Mike Griffith described the day as momentous for the Club: "Today has been a momentous day for MCC.
"The Club is honoured to have welcomed HRH The Princess Royal to Lord’s and is immensely proud to have been incorporated by Royal Charter.
"Incorporation means that we can better protect our Members’ assets, and provides the Club with a stronger base from which to promote, protect and develop cricket across the world."
In May 2011, MCC established an Incorporation & Structure Working Party (ISWP) under the chairmanship of Peter Leaver QC to consider the status and governance of the Club.
The ISWP recommended incorporation by Royal Charter to MCC’s 18,000-strong membership, a recommendation duly approved by a 97.4% majority at a Special General Meeting in June 2012.
The Club accordingly sent a petition to the Privy Council, together with a draft Charter.
It was considered and approved by The Queen at a meeting of the Privy Council on 12 December 2012, and comes into effect from 1 July 2013.