Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall spent two days in the West Country this week to kick off a National Countryside Week. The new initiative draws attention to rural affairs and habitat protection. Their two-day tour culmined with the dedication of a new Duchy of Cornwall plant nursery on Tuesday afternoon.
The new center will create seven full-time jobs and several part-time opportunities, and expands the duchy’s ability to educate and serve the public. The sustainably built facility includes a store, cafe and gardens which will do double duty as shopping experience and education. Income from the Duchy pays the way for the Prince and Duchess’ private expenditure.
The tour began with Salcombe in Devon, chosen as part of celebrations for the 50th anniversary of the area’s designation as the South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. At a primary school in Salcombe, Devon, The Telegraph reported the Prince as saying it was “awful” that the Harry Potter series had now come to the end. The books, he explained, had encouraged an entire generation of young people to love reading.
After the school visit, the couple went walkabout in the town and the Duchess amused visitors by enjoying an ice cream from Salcombe Ice Cream. They also paid an unscheduled visit to the pub. Prince Charles also took a short tour of the harbor and estuary, talked to local crab fishermen and tried some locally made cheese. They also chatted to the local RNLI lifeboat team and saw a boat-building yard. The Duchess also visited an Exmoor pony center; Prince Charles visited the Dairy Crest dairy and ended up playing a ukulele made from a margarine container.
Tuesday morning, the Royals visited the Eden Project, a biosphere and environmental education facility near St. Austell. Prince Charles last visited at the project’s inception, and this year it’s celebrating 10 years. They saw the Mediterranean and the tropical biomes, self-contained environments housed in domes.
Prince Charles also visited the Davidstow Creamery in Davidstow, near Camelford, and launched (not literally) a new cheese, the Diamond Jubilee cheese. About three tons of the cheese are currently available. It will now be matured for 13 months and will go on sale just in time for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. Perhaps she will buy some.
Meanwhile, the Duchess of Cornwall toured Passmore Edwards Court, an independent living retirement community in Liskeard, then attended the 65th anniversary party of the Cornwall Rural Community Council. The charity promotes sustainable communities and fits well with the Countryside Week theme of their visit.
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Sources: Clarence House; The Telegraph; This Is Cornwall; BBC News Devon; BBC News Cornwall; Business Cornwall.
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