Charles and Camilla drive a fire engine & have a dance at Dumfries

Prince Charles and Camilla, Duke and Duchess of Rothesay, today visited Emergency One (E1), an emergency supply company, hosted a tea party at Dumfries House and visited a community garden.

E1 is based in Cumnock, East Ayrshire, and specialises in producing fire fighting equipment. The company provides equipment for the majority of fire and rescue services in the United Kingdom, and has a workforce of 180 full time employees. E1 also recruits over 30 engineering apprentices from multiple local schools, working with the Prince’s Trust to help find the next generation of auto electricians, mechanical fitters and automotive painters.

Prince Charles and Camilla have been undertaking engagements in Cumnock, including visiting an emergency services kit provider (Clarence House)

At E1, the Duke and Duchess got to experience what it’s like to get behind the wheel of a fire engine. Camilla exclaimed, “I feel like Fireman Sam”, as she was shown how to switch on the lights and siren.

After this, the Prince and Duchess made a trip to Netherthird Community Garden, where they met volunteers and local schoolchildren. The garden was developed to give the community a pleasant green space to enjoy, and to combat the area’s reputation for anti-social behaviour.

The Duchess was presented with a posy from a year 6 pupil. The pupils then informed the royal couple of the learning that they acquired through their visit. Camilla seemed interested by the trip, which she made in her capacity as President of Scotland’s Gardens Scheme, a charity created in 1931 to raise funds for other charities by opening gardens across Scotland.

Charles and Camilla enjoy the community garden of Netherthird today (Clarence House)

Yesterday, Charles and Camilla started a series of engagements in Scotland, many of which are taking place at Dumfries House, which was saved by Prince Charles in 2007, after it was threatened with sale and dispersal.

The future king helped arrange a £45 million deal to buy the stately home and its collection of Chippendale furniture, eventually persuading the Scottish Government to make the purchase in 2007, with his own Prince’s Charities Foundation contributing £20 million.

The first engagement was a visit from the President of Ireland to celebrate 10 years since the restoration, and to see how the house has benefited the local community. Later in the day, Classic FM celebrated its 25th birthday by conducting an interview with The Prince of Wales from inside Dumfries House, and by holding a concert, which was also attended by the Irish President.

An annual dog show took place at Dumfries House today, seeing Prince Charles and Camilla mingle with the four-legged friends (Clarence House)

It was also announced that Prince Charles and the President of Ireland have become joint patrons of The University of Liverpool’s Irish Institute.

The institute’s director, Professor Peter Shirlow said: “His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales and The President of Ireland, HE Michael D. Higgins have each promoted a vision of constructive relationships between these islands that preserves our unique character and which embodies the richness of our interdependence. The joint patronage reminds us that there is strength in unity/ ní neart go cur le chéile.”

As part of Dumfries’ tenth anniversary celebrations, Charles and Camilla attended a party in the Walled Garden and the annual dog show, today, too.

Around sixty elderly people are set to participate in a tea dance in the Walled Garden Pavilion, while over 150 members of the local community who have been beneficiaries of the Estate’s activities have also been invited to afternoon tea. The rain didn’t dampen any spirits, with the Royals even having a dance, and the dogs outside enjoying the fuss.

Charles also commented on Prince George’s first day of school, calling the experience ‘character building’. The future King said he wanted to know how his grandson got on during the half-day, but called him a ‘poor old thing’ when the nervous look George had was mentioned.

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