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The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall visit Kilkenny during Their Royal Highnesses's first full day in Ireland

11th May 2017

The Prince of Wales tries his hand at hurling during a visit to Kilkenny, Ireland

The Prince of Wales tries his hand at hurling during a visit to Kilkenny, Ireland

Today, Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall began their first full day in the Republic of Ireland with a visit to the city of Kilkenny.

Just outside Kilkenny Castle Their Royal Highnesses visited a farmers market where they met vendors, learned about their products and greeted the crowds of Kilkenny residents who turned up to welcome them.

The Duchess of Cornwall wore a special Magee green tweed suit, which was given as a gift during a visit to Donegal in May 2016, paired with a Claddagh brooch for the day's engagements.

Moving inside the castle grounds, The Prince and The Duchess were treated to a presentation by Taste Kilkenny. While learning about local produce Their Royal Highnesses sampled some of the food on show.

Local primary schools gave a hurling demonstration, with renowned hurlers Henry Shefflin and Brian Cody on hand to share their expertise. His Royal Highness tried his hand at the sport, with Shefflin saying, "His first question was how hard can you hit it, like anyone they want to see how hard you can hit it. But for the first go it was very, very good."

Later, The Prince and The Duchess were given a tour of the castle by Councillor Patrick O'Neill, Mayor of Kilkenny, and attended a community reception. Addressing the assembled crowd, His Royal Highness said, "Coming to Ireland gives us the opportunity, I hope, just to remind everyone of the enormous strength and warmth of the relation between our countries."

Their Royal Highnesses then moved on to the Cartoon Saloon, a cutting-edge BAFTA and Oscar nominated Irish animation film and television studio. Here, The Prince and The Duchess learned about the creative animation process and watched a trailer for The Bread Winner, the company's latest film, which is being produced by actress Angelina Jolie and will premiere at the Toronto Film Festival later this year. 

Following this, Their Royal Highnesses visited the Island Mill, which houses both The Design and Craft Council of Ireland’s Ceramic School and the Grennan Mill Craft School. Touring the building, The Prince and The Duchess witnessed demonstrations of pottery throwing, cloth dying, weaving and print making. Her Royal Highness was gifted a handwoven scarf to celebrate the visit. 

The Prince of Wales finished the day at the United Nations Training School, located at Curragh Camp. His Royal Highness learned about the school's Humanitarian Disaster Assistance course and met Air Corps ambulance pilots. During the visit The Prince also spoke with students currently training at the school, as well as medical personnel who had been deployed to Sierra Leone during the Ebola outbreak. 

Meanwhile, The Duchess of Cornwall paid a visit to the Irish National Stud, County Kildare where Her Royal Highness was introduced to the stable's champion winners, known as the Living Legends. In addition to meeting staff and students, The Duchess also came to face to face with Invincible Spirit, one of the stud's premiere racehorses.  After a reception for equine welfare professionals, Her Royal Highness visited the site's Japanese Gardens, considered to be amongst the finest of their kind in Europe.