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TRH continue their annual tour of Wales with a visit to Rhossili

4th July 2006

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall spent the second day of their annual tour of Wales learning about ancient Egypt, meeting entrepreneurs and visiting one of Britain's most beautiful places.

The Prince, who is Chancellor of the University of Wales, Swansea, and The Duchess of Cornwall visited the university and dropped in on the new School of the Environment and Society and the Egypt Centre.

They met a group of local primary schoolchildren learning about mummification in the centre's ‘House of the Dead'.

As volunteer Gaenor Marsh explained how an Egyptian corpse was preserved, the children, who were dressed in ancient costumes, removed organs from a life-sized doll for storage until the afterlife.

The Prince and The Duchess joined in and His Royal Highness joked: “What's all this business about using a hook to get the brains out? That is what really worries me.”

The Prince went on to remove the brain, which was a ball of grey wool, and then dipped in for a second time to remove the liver.

The Duchess thrust her arm into the doll's chest to retrieve the stomach, saying: “I've got hold of something very unpleasant. I think it has legs.”

The hands-on tour continued at the ‘House of Life', where The Prince and The Duchess put on white cotton gloves before handling artefacts up to 2,500 years old.

Sitting at a table with a second group of youngsters, also in ancient Egyptian costume, a secondary school volunteer at the centre talked them through the visit.

Lydia Taylor, 14, from Bishopston Comprehensive School, is a regular weekend volunteer at the centre.

“I showed them all the objects from a 2,000-year-old necklace to papyrus and a headdress made of wood used as a pillow,” she said.

“They were very interested and asked a lot of questions.”

Afterwards, the couple visited the university‘s new School of the Environment and Society.

While there, they met professors and staff involved with research projects involving giant turtles in Welsh waters, a daily diary for endangered animals and shellfish monitoring and were also given an insight into research on climate change using 3D glasses.

For their next engagement of the day, Their Royal Highnesses visited Jewels By The Sea, a bead shop in the village of Southgate, set up by Marianne Merrick with the help of PRIME-Cymru.

The Prince is the Patron and Founder of PRIME-Cymru which promotes and supports self-employment and enterprise for people in Wales aged over 50.

PRIME and PRIME-Cymru are the only UK organisations offering the over 50s a route to financial independence, scope to use their experience and skills and a chance to contribute to their communities.

As well as meeting Marianne Merrick and viewing her work, The Prince and Duchess met other PRIME-Cymru beneficiaries who were showcasing their work.

The Prince and The Duchess then visited Rhossili to mark the 50th anniversary of Gower being named the first Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the British Isles.

After meeting people from various organisations on the Gower at the recently refurbished Rhossili Village Hall, Middleton, The Prince and The Duchess visited the National Trust Centre in Rhossili.

Afterwards, Their Royal Highnesses walked along the cliff top common to view The Vile, a surviving medieval field system owned by the National Trust and met tenant farmers who work the land there.

They also visited St Mary's Church in Rhossili and viewed the memorial to Edgar Evans who grew up on the Gower and died on Captain Scott's Antarctic Mission in 1912.