Out and About
In support of Her Majesty The Queen, every year The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall visit cities, towns and villages across Britain and Northern Ireland to recognise and celebrate success and achievement and to offer encouragement. This year, The Prince and The Duchess visited 43 counties and 78 cities, towns and villages. The Prince and The Duchess saw the astounding work of charities and community initiatives and visited local festivals, businesses and shows.
Highlights and Key Moments
In October 2016, The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh were accompanied by The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall on a visit to Poundbury. The occasion marked the completion of Queen Mother Square and thousands of well-wishers joined the celebrations as Her Majesty unveiled a statue of The Queen Mother by sculptor, Philip Jackson. It marked a milestone in the life of Poundbury — an urban extension to Dorchester built according to the principles of sustainable urban planning and design advocated by The Prince of Wales.
Work began on Poundbury in 1993 to create an urban quarter of Dorchester which places people, rather than cars, at the heart of the design process. Commercial buildings are mixed with residential areas and leisure facilities to create a walkable community. Today, Poundbury is home to 3,000 people in a mix of private and affordable housing. The community also provides employment to 2,100 people and is home to 185 businesses.
“Living in Poundbury gives me the greatest sense of belonging to a community. I can walk to work and meetings with local businesses I network with. I can walk to the shops, cafes and restaurants. My business’s flagship store is in Poundbury and we currently have ten other stores in the UK so I spend lots of time in the car. Not needing to use my car when I am at home is very important to me. I can’t imagine living anywhere else now. I love the mix of houses and businesses that attract different mixes of people and being a member of the PRA (Poundbury Residents Association) gives me lots of opportunities to mix with the Poundbury residents.”
Kate Atkinson, Owner, Bridal Reloved
In July, The Duke and Duchess of Cornwall (as they are known in Cornwall) travelled to Cornwall to undertake engagements on the South West Peninsula. On the first day, Their Royal Highnesses visited Penzance where Her Royal Highness opened the newly refurbished St John’s Hall and His Royal Highness opened the Jubilee Open Air Swimming Pool, which had been restored following devastating storm damage sustained in previous years. Their Royal Highnesses then travelled to the Minack Theatre, which sits atop the cliffs at Porthcurno, to enjoy a performance featuring extracts from Britten’s ‘A Mid-Summer Night’s Dream’ and the ‘Lighthouse Keeper’s Lunch’.
Her Royal Highness subsequently visited the English Heritage Blue Plaque Centre to learn about the handcrafted production of these iconic signs and even tried her hand at painting one. The following day, The Duke and Duchess travelled to Port Isaac to meet members of the local community; the cast of the television series ‘Doc Martin’; the renowned chef, Nathan Outlaw and members of the Ideas Partnership, which Her Royal Highness first encountered while on an Official Royal Visit to the Balkans.
Their Royal Highnesses then travelled to Exeter Cathedral to attend the Taste of the West Food Fair to meet this year’s prize winners and attend the Children’s Hospice South West’s 25th anniversary celebratory service, which took place in the Cathedral itself. On the final day, The Duke of Cornwall visited MVV Environment Devonport Ltd to learn about the company’s pioneering energy from waste plant, before meeting service personnel and their families at HMNB Devonport.
While in Port Isaac today, The Duchess of Cornwall stopped in at the UK office of The Ideas Partnership, a charity which supports the poorest women and children in Kosovo. The Duchess witnessed first-hand the support The Ideas Partnership provides during a visit to Kosovo in March of this year. #TRHinCornwall
In June, The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall accompanied The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh to open the Fifth National Assembly for Wales, at The Senedd in Cardiff, where they also attended a reception for Assembly Members. The Prince of Wales’s Official Harpist, Anne Denholm, took part in the opening ceremony.
During Their Royal Highness’s annual tour of Wales in July, The Prince of Wales opened the new engineering campus at Swansea University, a new development on a spectacular seafront site, which has been designed in conjunction with The Prince’s Foundation for Building Community. Their Royal Highnesses also visited communities, factories, churches, pubs and village halls across Wales, from Aberdaron, at the very tip of the Llyn Peninsula in north Wales, to Swansea in the south.
The Prince and The Duchess held an evening of entertainment provided by the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, of which His Royal Highness is Patron, for guests from around Wales at their Welsh home, Llwynywermod, near Llandovery in Carmarthenshire. The evening took the theme of the work of Roald Dahl, reflecting The Duchess of Cornwall’s patronage of the Cardiff-born writer’s centenary celebrations.
50th Anniversary of
the Aberfan Disaster
Later in the year on 21st October, His Royal Highness visited Aberfan to attend the 50th anniversary commemorations of the Aberfan disaster, in remembrance of the 116 children and 28 adults who were killed when a colliery waste tip collapsed onto Pantglas Junior School in 1966. The Prince met with the parents of some of the children who died, as well as survivors, rescuers and community leaders. He laid a wreath at the cemetery where the victims are buried, planted a tree in the memorial garden on the site of the school and attended a reception for the community at which he delivered a message from Her Majesty The Queen.
? The Duke of Rothesay visited the Royal Deeside Railway in Scotland today and was able to drive the newly refurbished steam train and meet members of the restoration team. The steam train was damaged by vandals in August 2015, and has been restored by the Royal Deeside Railway Preservation Trust with help from His Royal Highness’s Charitable Foundation. ? PA
The Duke of Rothesay began the Royal visit to Scotland today at Margaret Morrison #Perth, manufacturer of traditional Scottish Sporrans. A Sporran is a small pouch that hangs in front of the kilt as part of men's Scottish Highland dress, and Margaret Morrison has made sporrans for schools, Scouting Groups as well as Regiments including The Royal Regiment of Scotland. HRH toured the workshop and saw how the sporrans are specially made on-site.
Being employed in the gardens at Dumfries House has given me an opportunity to develop my career, gain training and RHS qualifications in horticulture.
Kris Muir, locally employed Estate worker
This was a busy year of engagements across the country with, amongst other events, the Kirking of the Scottish Parliament service following the Elections in May, and a reception for MSPs and officials, through to a visit to HMS Prince of Wales, the second of The Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers being constructed at Rosyth.
In August, the Ballater Highland Games were attended by The Duke and Duchess of Rothesay (as they are known in Scotland), as the Dee Valley continued to recover from the severe floods of the New Year. In October, His Royal Highness travelled to the Royal National Mòd, a Gaelic cultural competition in Stornoway.
Their Royal Highnesses also undertook a number of engagements in and around Edinburgh viewing, amongst other things, the ‘From Harris to Paris’ textiles exhibition. As Patron of Abbeyfield, The Duke of Rothesay visited Viewlands House in Perth, as part of the charity’s 60th anniversary year, and met staff at Margaret Morrison Sporrans.
A short flight to the Isle of Bute saw His Royal Highness visit Bute Fabrics, where he met refugees from Aleppo in Syria – some of the first to be accommodated by a UK local authority.
The Duke of Rothesay also visited the Marine Harvest fish farm at Loch Leven, which secured certification from the Aquaculture Stewardship Council for its environmental standards. He afterwards held a meeting with industry representatives.
His Royal Highness also undertook several visits to Dumfries House and Estate.
Dumfries House has had a massive impact on Health and Wellbeing for pupils in the Supported Learning Centre. The weekly visits have become embedded in our curriculum and have raised the expectations and aspirations of the pupils. The positive impact on physical activity and the understanding of food issues and sustainability is only a part of what the young people are gaining from their visits. Being in the beautiful surroundings of the Dumfries House Education Garden has enabled the pupils to engage with Numeracy and Literacy in a calm and relaxing atmosphere.
Ann Barbour, Cumnock Academy Supported Learning Centre on access to the Food Education Programme
In Northern Ireland, Their Royal Highnesses conducted events in a wide range of locations. The Prince of Wales opened a cyber security centre in Belfast and a restored Presbyterian chapel, now an arts centre, at Portaferry in County Down. Their Royal Highnesses visited the Ulster Carpets factory and the Yellow Door delicatessen in Portadown, County Armagh. His Royal Highness went on to visit the Museum of Orange Heritage in Loughgall, which tells the story of the foundation of the Orange Order. The centre has been partly funded by the Irish Government, and the Irish Culture and Heritage Minister, Heather Humphreys, accompanied The Prince of Wales on the visit. The Duchess of Cornwall paid a separate visit to the Armagh Cider Company.
At Hillsborough Castle, The Prince of Wales held meetings with the then First Minister and Deputy First Minister, Arlene Foster and the late Martin McGuinness. The Prince also toured the house and estate to view improvement works taking place there, led by His Royal Highness and Historic Royal Palaces.
“His Royal Highness is acutely aware of the sensitivities around his visits to Northern Ireland, and he welcomes the opportunity to contribute to encouraging respect, tolerance and engagement.”
Fionnuala Jay-O’Boyle, Belfast Lieutenancy
In London, The Prince of Wales attended a reception for Northern Ireland food producers at Fortnum and Mason to promote Northern Irish produce.
Also during the year, The Prince of Wales made a special recording of the Seamus Heaney poem ‘The Shipping Forecast’ to mark National Poetry Day. The poem will be part of an archive of recordings at a new visitor centre in Heaney’s home village of Bellaghy, in County Londonderry.