The Duke and Duchess in Mousehole

The Duke and Duchess of Cornwall have begun their annual visit to Devon and Cornwall in the town of Mousehole!

Along the harbour, Their Royal Highnesses met residents and visitors including Esme Page, who runs Cornwall Hugs Grenfell, a charity that provides holidays for families affected by the Grenfell Tower fire.

At Newlyn Harbour, The Duke and Duchess met local fishermen and heard about their sustainable fishing practices. Newlyn has had a working harbour since the 15th Century and is the largest fishing port by tonnage in England, mainly because of its catch of pilchards or Cornish sardines as they are now known.

More than 600 vessels and 100 fishermen land up to 40 different species of fresh fish each day at Newlyn Harbour, including hake, turbot, mackerel and cuttlefish to name but a few.

At Boconnoc House, The Duke and Duchess attended a Garden Party to mark the 70th anniversary of His Royal Highness being head of The Duchy of Cornwall. 600 guests attended, made up of Cornish tenants of The Duchy of Cornwall, Cornish charities and patronages, the Armed Forces, business food producers, farmers, young athletes, church members, volunteers, Platinum Champions from Cornwall, representatives of the emergency services, health and social care sectors and those involved in education.

The Prince of Wales became the 24th Duke of Cornwall on The Queen's accession to the throne in 1952. At the age of 21, in 1969, His Royal Highness took over its management. The Duchy is run in accordance with The Prince’s own social and environmental values, focussing on the communities who live and work there, as well as protecting the land itself for future generations.

On their second day in Devon and Cornwall, The Duke and Duchess visited Launceston, where His Royal Highness was proclaimed The Duke of Cornwall in 1973.

During their visit, Their Royal Highnesses toured Launceston’s Market Square, meeting stall holders at a local farmers market and saw the inaugural Launceston dance parade, performed by local children.

As the Innovative Farmers' programme marks its 10th anniversary, His Royal Highness visited Trefranck Farm and had a look around the the herbal leys demonstration field.

Meanwhile, The Duchess of Cornwall met children and older people involved in Silver Stories, at Charlestown School. The charity arranges children to read over the phone to older members of the community, who may be isolated or vulnerable. 

The third day of Their Royal Highnesses' visit to Devon and Cornwall saw them travel to the seaside town of Torquay in Devon.

In the grounds of Torre Abbey, Torbay’s most historic building, The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall attended the 200th Anniversary celebrations of The Maritime and Coastguard Agency. The Prince, who is their Honorary Commodore, and The Duchess were shown various displays of what the Agency do including a tour of the search and rescue helicopter and an example of how drones are being used to locate lost or stranded people. 

His Royal Highness presented a Jubilee medal to Keith Dare-Williams, the longest serving current coastguard rescue officer, who received it on behalf of the entire service. The Duchess also took time to meet some of the 17 Platinum Champion from Devon. 

Their Royal Highnesses then visited Cockington Court, a historic manor converted to an innovation hub supporting local, independent craft businesses. 

His Royal Highness met award-winning blacksmith of 30 years, Rex Latham and his daughter, who is also a blacksmith. The Prince also stopped at Our Glass, who create coloured glassware using traditional Roman techniques. 

The Duchess, whose work is particularly focussed on improving literacy, spoke to Heather Norman Soderlind, Chairman of the International Agatha Christie Festival, as well as local artist, Elizabeth Hadley, who is creating a life-size sculpture of the renowned author, to be positioned on the Torquay seafront, the town where she was born.

Sculpture of Agatha Christie