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The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall visit Sark Island as part of their Diamond Jubilee tour

20th July 2012

The Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall are presented with a commemorative mug of the royal visit by a lady called 'Puffin', on the Island of Sark

The Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall are presented with a commemorative mug of the royal visit by a lady called 'Puffin', on the Island of Sark

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall stepped back in time today by using a horse and carriage to travel on an island where cars are banned.

The royal couple visited the tiny Channel Island of Sark - population 600 - which is one of the few remaining places in the world which outlaws cars and where tractors, bikes and horses and carriages are used instead.

The Prince and Duchess signalled their enjoyment of their short ride by horse and carriage by smiling broadly and patting the horse gently after disembarking.

The Duchess, said: "You are a well-behaved horse."

The Prince added: "You work very hard, don't you?"

The carriage, driven by islander Rossford de Carteret, was pulled by an Irish cob called Toby.

Mr de Carteret said: "It's an honour to have them on board. I've carried all the Royal Family, including the Queen three times, who come to the island since I've been doing it for 50-odd years.

"The last royal I had on board was the Princess Royal about five years ago."

The traditional mode of transport ferried them to La Seigneurie Gardens, reputed to be one of the finest formal walled gardens in the Channel Islands.

Dating back to the 19th Century, they include a circular rose garden, a Victorian glasshouse, flower beds, a vegetable garden and a hedge maze.

Earlier this morning, The Prince and Duchess flew into picturesque Sark by helicopter from Guernsey for the final day of a three-day visit to the Channel Islands.

Up to 200 people greeted the couple, including schoolchildren from the 37-pupil Sark School and local civic leaders, before they unveiled a plaque at the Island Hall.

Schoolchildren Tia Lalor, 12, and nine-year-old Yasmin Williams presented Their Royal Highnesses with a box of chocolates and a posy of flowers before meeting members of the British Legion lined up outside the hall.

Two mugs featuring The Prince and Duchess in their hunting gear were presented to them by Puffin Taylour who organises sheep racing contests on Sark.

Ms Taylour said: "I'm delighted that they were able to take the mugs. I'm really surprised that I was able to get in line to give them to them."

Considered the fourth smallest of the Channel Islands, Sark is not only distinguished by its ban on cars but its international reputation among star-gazers.

The isle, which has no public street lighting and no paved roads, was awarded the International Dark-Sky Association recognition for its exceptional quality of unpolluted darkness, and became the world's first Dark Sky island.

Island visitor Barbara Higginbottom, from Buxton, Derbyshire, said: "I love seeing Charles and Camilla here. It's marvellous and it's good for the island because it gets the crowds out."