The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall during a visit to Bangor Market

Day Two

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall began a second day in Northern Ireland at Hillsborough Castle, where they met staff and signed the visitors’ book.

At the open-air market in Bangor, County Down, Their Royal Highnesses browsed locally sourced produce including a range of organic goods and met stallholders. The market has traded in Bangor for 98 years and proved resilient, having survived global economic obstacles, a struggling high street and a major fire in 1983.

The Prince and The Duchess were greeted by local schoolchildren from Bangor Central Integrated Primary School and Bangor Central Nursery School as they arrived in the seaside town.

They were welcomed by the Mayor of Ards and North Down, Trevor Cummings, before taking time to talk to the children who waved flags that they had made for the occasion.

The Prince met with the RNLI crew of the lifeboat that is based at the County Down harbour and unveiled a plaque to commemorate the bicentenary of the Royal Charter of Donaghadee Harbour and the laying of the harbour’s foundation stone.

The Prince of Wales then travelled to the County Tyrone village of Caledon, where he viewed the sites of development projects and also met with local community groups, including coaches and members of Caledon Rovers football club.

Meanwhile, The Duchess of Cornwall visited Kilcooley Women’s Centre in Bangor where she learned about its work in the local community.

The Duchess met members of the “Camilla Club” – a virtual reading group established by the centre inspired by Her Royal Highness’s Reading Room!

The Duchess’s final engagement was a visit to Horses for People, a charity which provides equine therapy and offers courses to help people to deal with stress, increase resilience and promote team building.

Her Royal Highness met with the founder of the centre, June Burgess, and watched a demonstration in the lunging pen and saw a horse being shod

Day One

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall arrived in Belfast yesterday for a two-day visit to Northern Ireland, which began at Belfast City Hall.

The Prince met with historians to discuss the Centenary of Northern Ireland, while The Duchess heard about Belfast’s ambition to become a UNESCO City of Music and was introduced to the women’s steering group. Belfast City Hall was the site of the opening of the first Parliament of Northern Ireland on 22 June, 1921. 

In the Cathedral Quarter of Belfast, Their Royal Highnesses visited the Education Authority Headquarters and heard from young people about how youth workers had positively impacted their lives.

In a speech, The Prince of Wales hailed the “tireless work” being done to bring about reconciliation:

I cannot tell you how really inspiring it has been to hear of the tireless work being carried out by youth workers on all sides of the community, and I just wanted to take this opportunity, if I may, to pay special tribute to your dedication and commitment to the cause of peaceful co-existence.”

Their Royal Highnesses then separated to carry out solo programmes. The Prince of Wales first visited the shipyard of Harland and Wolff in the east of Belfast, where his father The Duke of Edinburgh had visited in 1977.

Walking through the historic yard, where HMS Titanic among many other ships were built, The Prince was photographed exactly how his father had been in 1977 walking in front of one of the enormous yellow cranes which dominate the city’s skyline.

Looking towards the future of the business, His Royal Highness was also shown automatic welding machinery.

The Prince unveiled a plaque for the 160th anniversary of Harland and Wolff and was presented with a photograph of his father’s visit to the shipyard.

His Royal Highness then went on to Slieve Gullion Forest Park, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in County Armagh, where he experienced traditional Irish music and learnt about red squirrel and pine marten conservation efforts.

The Duchess of Cornwall meanwhile, in her role as Colonel-in-Chief of The Rifles Regiment, met with 2 RIFLES and heard about the Battalion’s upcoming events. The Duchess watched the company conduct their field craft training and opened their new Welfare Garden. 

Her Royal Highness also toured the workshop of silversmith Cara Murphy.

Cara, the daughter of a silversmith, set up her small business 26 years ago. Continuing the family craft, Cara’s own daughter is now also studying Silversmithing and Jewellery.