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The Duchess of Cornwall visits a flower festival at Exeter Cathedral

12th July 2012

A spectacular sea of blooms greeted The Duchess of Cornwall when she visited the magnificent Exeter Cathedral to celebrate a flower festival being staged in the medieval building.

The Duchess toured the colourful event - the first to be held at the cathedral for 13 years - called Majesty in honour of The Queen's Diamond Jubilee and the imposing nature of the place of worship.

Her Royal Highness also found herself collecting her own bouquets when dozens of well-wishers and schoolchildren presented her with posies.

Around 300 flower arrangers have been involved in preparing the various displays which feature 22,000 flowers.

The Duchess also met hundreds of festival visitors and around 300 youngsters from 46 local schools who had helped to design 120 giant fibreglass flowers lining the entrance to the cathedral.

Her Royal Highness also bought two union flag decorated piggy banks from the cathedral shop for some of her grandchildren.

During the visit The Duchess viewed all of the exhibits on show throughout the ancient building before having tea with supporters and volunteers.

The Duchess, who is Royal Colonel of the 4th Battalion the Rifles, also made a stop in the Rifles chapel within the cathedral, where she met the commanding officer of the regiment's 6th Battalion, Lieutenant Colonel Neville Holmes. Before leaving the royal placed the last bloom in a 30 metre-long (100ft) carpet of sunflowers.

The cathedral's Dean, the Very Reverend Dr Jonathan Draper, said: "It was a fabulous visit, I think the Duchess was marvellous with everybody she met - she spoke to them all because she is just that kind of person.

"We are so grateful to her for joining us today and hope to see her here again soon."