Prince Charles & Camilla wrap up sunny South West visit – fish, fudge & a pub lunch

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall are carrying out their annual visit to the South West this week, and what a week they have had weather wise!

Day two of the visit got underway on Tuesday, with The Duke and Duchess of Cornwall (Prince Charles uses that title while in Cornwall) carrying out a number of engagements together following a busy day previously.

The Duke and Duchess arrived on St Mary, part of the Isles of Scilly, a group of over 200 islands and rocks located 28 miles from Cornwall. Theses isles have been part of the Duchy of Cornwall since its inception in the 14th century, by Edward III to financially support his son not out of the royal purse.

Prince Charles and Camilla arrive on the sunny Isles of Scilly (@ClarenceHouse/Twitter)

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The last time the couple visited the Isles was in 2018.

Their first engagement was at the Five Islands Academy. The couple arrived in style in Go-EV Car Share vehicles, which have recently been installed on the island to encourage sustainable travel among residents and tourists.

While at the Academy, the Duke joined secondary school pupils at the school for an eco conference involving local stakeholders, where he signed a pledge on behalf of The Duchy of Cornwall to commit to environmental improvements, something of which he is, and has always been, a big advocate.

He was then shown around the vegetable and fruit patches at the school by a number of the pupils there.

To a group of children holding flowers, Charles commented: “Are you going to show us your flowers. They are splendid. Well done.”

Camilla added: “Absolutely beautiful.”

Meanwhile, the Duchess met with primary school pupils who are part of the Academy’s eco committee, joining them for a special story time, where she read to them.

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The couple then took a walk in the blistering sunshine, Camilla using a parasol to shade her from the strong rays, down to Porthcressa Quay, where they met with members of Healthwatch, local police and staff from Park House (the island’s only care home), all of whom have helped residents of the island during the pandemic.

Charles also met with business owners who have been affected by the pandemic.

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The couple them moved on to St Mary’s Quay, where they met with members of the public and the future King met with members of The Duchy of Cornwall.

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Next stop for the couple was Bryher, another one of the Isles. The pair arrived at Church Quay by boat and were greeted by two of the islands Councillors before they walked to Island Fish, a family run business on the island.

Island Fish is run by three generations of the Pender family, who have been fishing out of Bryher for hundreds of years. The business supplies lobster, crab, wet fish and shellfish across the Scilly Isles.

Father and son, Mike and Mark, go out to fish daily around the Isles; their catch is brought back to shore where mother and daughter duo, Sue and Amanda, prepare everything to be made into a range of different products, which are then supplied to hotels, restaurants and shops throughout the Isles.

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In 2018, the Duchy of Cornwall supported Island Fish to build their new premises in Bryher.

During their visit, Camilla bought some fish to take home with her.

The Duchess then traveled on alone to Veronica Farm, another family owned business on the island. Veronica Farm is owned by the Taylors, who started to make their own fudge 24 years ago on their kitchen Aga in their farmhouse. They now have their own fudge kitchen to create their sweet treats, but still use the traditional methods they always have. Their vanilla fudge is handmade using local ingredients such as Scillonian milk, butter and clotted cream.

During her visit to the business, Camilla ventured into the kitchens where she tried her hand at creating some fudge, stirring the ingredients.

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The final day of the three day visit got underway on Wednesday and was packed full of engagements in North Devon for the couple.

The day began in Bideford, where they visited The Burton to celebrate its 70th anniversary. It was purpose-built as a museum and gallery and was established by businessman Thomas Burton and Hubert Coop in 1951, and opened to commemorate the death to Burton’s daughter.

The royal couple toured an exhibit of photographs taken by local photographer James Ravilious, who photographed agricultural life in the 1960s and 70s.

The Duchess of Cornwall commented to crowds: “What a lovely spot here. I wish I was staying here for longer.”

Charles then went on to visit the gallery’s Bideford ceramic slipware collection while Camilla met with a number of local school children involved in various art projects.

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Before they left, the couple met with local people, including a group of schoolchildren taking part in arts and crafts before they unveiled a plaque to mark the 70th anniversary of the opening of the gallery.

Darren Hill of the Taw and Torridge Volunteer Service said: “We were able to tell [Charles] about our charity and what we did throughout the pandemic and he was really interested to hear how we were able to support some of most vulnerable members of the community.

“He was really interested and it was a privilege to let him know about the work we’ve done.”

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The Prince of Wales then went on to visit Tennacott Farm, where he was met by owner John Bellew and shown the farms herd of dairy cows, which milk is used to make Tennacott Farm Dairy ice cream.

The Royal revealed he was a particular fan of vanilla – as long as it is made properly! “And vanilla, proper vanilla? It’s very hard to get vanilla right,” he said.

“I feel very honoured to be here at the age of 90,” said Tom Bellew. “What a lovely man he is and it’s great to know how interested he is in the farmers and the family farms.”

Following this, Charles attended a seminar hosted by the North Devon Biosphere on Natural Capital management, before moving onto another barn to meet representatives from the group who are working in climate change, marine life and forestry.

The biosphere is one of 714 UNESCO designated areas.

While Charles was busy down on the farm, Camilla was visiting Little Bridge House, part of her patronage, Children’s Hospice South West. Little Bridge house will mark their 30th anniversary this year.

The Duchess was shown around the hospice by Eddie Farwell, founder of the hospice group. During the visit, Camilla met with staff and family.

As with many royal visits, it was the Duchess’ job to plant a tree, marking the hospice’s 30 years of end of life care, but not before listening to a fantastic speech from Sammy!

At the end of the day it was down to the local pub for a well deserved pint in the sunshine! The couple reunited for the last engagement of the day at Duke of York Inn in Iddesleigh.

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The Duchess arrived first and was greeted by the author Sir Michael Morpurgo, his wife, Clare, and Carol Hughes, the wife of the late poet Ted Hughes, before being greeted by publican John Pittam.

Camilla then sat down with author Morpurgo to speak with him about the novel ‘War Horse’, which has been chosen but the Duchess for season three of her Reading Room. The novel was inspired by a meeting Morpurgo had with First World War veteran, Wilfred Ellis, at the pub some 30 years ago.

The Prince of Wales arrived at the pub not too long after and joined his wife and the others at a locals lunch club, the first time the club had gathered together since the beginning of the pandemic.

20 years ago, the landlord offered locals a subsidised meal, a tradition the current landlord John Pittam keeps going.

It is reported that Camilla had fish for her lunch, and the couple didn’t have time for dessert, but took brown sugar meringues and ice cream with them.

Following the club meeting, and before they departed, Charles got behind the bar to pull a refreshing pint!

Before their annual trip came to an end, as they left The Duke Of York Inn, the couple had the chance to greet waiting well wishers on the green outside.

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While the visit to the South West may have come to an end, here is hoping that the lovely weather Charles and Camilla experienced this week does not!

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