The Duke and Duchess of Cornwall begin their annual visit to the South West

The Duke and Duchess of Cornwall began a three-day visit to Cornwall and Devon today, starting the visit in the seaside town of Penzance.  

The themes of this year’s visit include celebrating local food and drink and the region’s success as a hub of stage and screen talent, as well as recognising the excellent environmental and charitable work taking place across the South West. 

Their Royal Highnesses began the day by visiting a farmers’ market, where they browsed stalls and saw the range of local food and drink on offer. Local residents were also there to welcome The Duke and Duchess to Cornwall. 

The Duchess then visited the nearby St John’s Hall to meet local groups who were gathered inside. Here Her Royal Highness met representatives from Cornwall-based charities, including Seafood Cornwall Training, which supports The Prince’s Trust’s ‘Get into Programme’, and Farm Cornwall, which is funded by The Prince’s Countryside Fund. Local schoolchildren were also at the hall to take part in Penzance Library’s Summer Reading Challenge.  

The Duke of Cornwall meanwhile officially opened the outdoor Jubilee Pool, a saltwater lido.The pool suffered severe damage in February 2014 after heavy storms battered the area, and had to close for two summers. Jubilee Pool reopened to the public in May this year and is now used by many local residents, including members of the Penzance Swimming Association, who were there today to see The Duke open the pool. 

The Duke and Duchess of Cornwall reunited at the Minack Theatre, an outdoor working theatre that is perched on a clifftop overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. The theatre is open to visitors all year, and showcases more than 200 performances. 

Their Royal Highness toured the theatre and watched an extract from Shakespeare’s ‘A Midsummer’s Night Dream’ being performed.

To end the day, The Duchess of Cornwall visited the English Heritage Blue Plaque Centre before attending a reception for a local charity. 

The English Heritage blue plaque scheme is celebrating 150 years, and Her Royal Highness was able to see where the famous plaques are made, and was also shown a new plaque being made in honour of Thomas John Barnardo, Founder of the charity Barnardos. The Duchess has been President of Barnardos since 2007. 

The Duchess also met Frank and Sue Ashworth, who have been making blue plaques from their home in Cornwall for over 30 years. 

Finally, it was onto a reception to celebrate 10 years of the charity Fund for Youth, run by the Lord Lieutenant of Cornwall, Colonel Edward Bolitho OBE. The Fund provides supported for talented young people in Cornwall, helping those who lack the means to pursue their dreams fully.

Keep up to date with the Royal visit to Cornwall by following #TRHinCornwall