The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall enjoyed an exciting three-day tour of Devon and Cornwall last week. They had quite the welcome, arriving in a flood-drenched Porthleven, and being enthusiastically greeted by a black Labrador puppy named Bella, who licked the heir to the throne’s head during a walkabout in the town. Brimming with scheduled events, Charles still made sure to find the time to pick up gifts for his grandchildren, Prince George and Princess Charlotte.
Prince Charles got a friendly welcome in Cornwall Photo: Getty Images
During their royal visit to England’s two most westerly counties, the royal couple packed in 13 engagements: meeting food producers, community volunteers and charity workers. Charles and Camilla also visited a custard factory, a Ministry of Defense training area and the Cornwall Air Ambulance Headquarters. The pair undertook solo engagements, as well, with the Duchess heading to the sexual assault referral center First Light in Plymouth, while the Prince dropped in to officially open the new Cove Macmillan Support Centre at Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro. Charles, who is patron of Macmillan Cancer Support, said: “On an occasion like this, it’s an opportunity to say a very big thank you to all these marvelous staff and the many volunteers – so many I’ve met this afternoon – without whom none of this would be possible.”
A day later was when Charles picked up gifts for his grandchildren, George and Charlotte. While browsing in Barnstaple Pannier Market, he bought a storybook called The Goodnight Star by Amy Sparkes. Charles read part of it aloud to crowds of royal fans who had packed the market square. Earlier in the week, Camilla had discussed how Charles was a “brilliant mimic” who leaves her grandchildren “spellbound” with his dramatic readings of Harry Potter.
Camilla was given a 70th birthday cake with Prince Charles on their tour Photo: Getty Images
Camilla was presented with a birthday cake to mark her 70th birthday later on, with pupils from Bishops Tawton Primary School and Orchard Vale Community School singing “Happy Birthday to You.” Barnstaple mayor Julie Hunt said: “Camilla was very down to earth. She was really touched that people had taken the time for her birthday and they took the cake with them. Charles was very caring and came across as very affectionate.”
On Friday, the couple braved torrential rain once again to join parishioners at St Protus and St Hyacinth’s church in Blisland for a service in celebration of Camilla’s milestone birthday. But they didn’t let the inclement weather dampen their spirits. After the service they visited the local combined post office, shop and tea room, with Charles telling villagers on his arrival: “I’m sorry we’re a bit damp.”