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HRH helps celebrate the 800th anniversary of Marlborough's Royal Charter celebration

18th June 2004

The Prince of Wales joined the town of Marlborough to help celebrate the 800th anniversary of The Royal Charter.

The market town in Wiltshire was granted The Royal Charter by King John in 1204.

His Royal Highness had a number of engagements throughout the day aimed at celebrating the historic town's anniversary.

The Prince's first stop of the day was Marlborough College, where he chatted with many of the hundreds of students who had gathered to greet him.

The college was also the original site of King John's lodge which he used as a base for hunting in Savernake Forest.

During his visit, The Prince visited “The Wilderness” - the site of the original hunting lodge and an area which has been created around the Neolithic mound in the college grounds.

To mark the occasion, His Royal Highness unveiled an engraved sarsen stone, which was then baptised by The Bishop of Ramsbury, the Right Reverend Peter Hullah.

Later, The Prince toured the restored Merchant House which was built after the fire of 1653.

The Prince attended a reception for the Wiltshire Bobby Van Trust (WBVT) in the historic building and upon leaving, met policemen involved in the WBVT, a community police scheme and registered charity which focuses on crime prevention and victim support.

The Prince was introduced to the police officers and shown the two vans by Mrs Parker Bowles who has been a Trustee of the WBVT since 2000.

On his way along the wide high street towards the town hall, His Royal Highness stopped to talk to the many people who had gathered along the route.

The Prince also visited the Waitrose supermarket on the high street to see how it had been sympathetically constructed to fit in with local architecture.

Customer Lesley Gallagher-Powell had been surprised to turn an aisle corner to come face-to-face with The Prince who stopped and chatted with her.

She said: “I didn't know he was here, but I knew who it was as soon as I saw him, of course. He asked me if the vegetables were any good.”

When he reached the town hall, The Prince was welcomed by the town crier, known in Marlborough as the Beadle. His Royal Highness then listened to part of the Royal Charter being recited and unveiling a plaque to mark his visit before joining a reception inside the town hall.