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The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall visit the London Olympic Park and Waterways

13th June 2012

The Prince of Wales (right) accompanied by his wife the Duchess of Cornwall (second from right in back), meet schoolchildren during a tour of the waterways in and around the Olympic Park, in East London

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall were given a sneak preview of some of the costumes for the Olympic Games' opening ceremony today.

His Royal Highness was impressed by his private viewing of the outfits during a tour of the Olympic Park site and surrounding areas with The Duchess of Cornwall.

The Olympic Stadium will be turned into a meadow complete with real animals, grass and clouds that will rain down for the official launch of London 2012.

Their Royal Highnesses met some of the volunteers taking part as the helpers tried on their outfits at 3 Mills Studios in Bow, east London, close to Stratford's Olympic Park where athletes from across the globe will be competing.

The Prince asked a man who had just squeezed into his costume: "Is this the first time you've put it on? I love it."

The volunteer, one of thousands who have given up their time to take part in the event, gave a brief demonstration for Their Royal Highnesses. The Duchess joked: "That's one way of keeping fit."

Jenny Bigland, from Finchley, north London, a ceremonies workforce volunteer, is also a member of the Women's Institute and has been helping out with the Games preparations since March.

She said: "It was a complete surprise and an honour to meet The Prince and The Duchess, particularly after the Jubilee.

"The Prince was fascinated to learn all about the costumes we were working on and asked what each costume is for."

Their Royal Highnesses' visit began with a tour of The House Mill on Three Mills Island, where they toured the historic Grade 1 listed tidal mill and viewing old mill machinery before meeting staff, volunteers and supporters of the project. The Prince has a keen interest in the regeneration of historic buildings and does so through the work of his charity The Prince's Regeneration Trust.

After viewing the costume department for the London Olympic Games' opening ceremony, The Prince, who earlier this year became the first Patron of the Canal & River Trust, the new charity set up to care for England and Wales’ legacy of 200-year-old waterways, and The Duchess officially named a Water Chariots boat.

The boat, named by a school competition winner, was officially named "Usain Boat". Water Chariots are designed to provide boat trips along the East London waterways network, and to the Olympic Park, both during and after the Games.  The boats are primarily skippered by military ex-servicemen and women.

Heading to the Olympic Park itself, Their Royal Highnesses met landscape apprentices involved in the creation of the riverside parklands. The Prince and Duchess met representatives from Bikeworks, a local community cycling hub offering an all-abilities cycling programme for young people with learning and physical disabilities.