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Wisbech gives a right royal welcome to Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwell



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The people of Wisbech waited in the cold this afternoon to give a right royal welcome to the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwell.

Prince Charles and Camilla Duchess of Cornwall visit to Wisbech. (5648639)
Prince Charles and Camilla Duchess of Cornwall visit to Wisbech. (5648639)

A few hundred people gathered around St Peter's Church, the Crescent and Church Terrace to welcome the Royal couple as they arrived to spend time chatting to volunteers and in the case of the Duchess promoting the National Literacy Trust, of which she is patron.

Prince Charles and Camilla Duchess of Cornwall visit to Wisbech. (5648679)
Prince Charles and Camilla Duchess of Cornwall visit to Wisbech. (5648679)

The couple who arrived bang on time were quickly out of their car and ready to greet the waiting crowds among them was Jennifer Minns who managed to have a chat with both the Prince and the Duchess.

Afterwards she explained she had told the Prince she had first met him when he was a month old and staying at Sandringham.

Prince Charles and Camilla Duchess of Cornwall visit to Wisbech. (5646694)
Prince Charles and Camilla Duchess of Cornwall visit to Wisbech. (5646694)

The Prince headed for St Peter's Church to spend time meeting representatives of around 20 organisations, charities and volunteer groups from across the area and hear about the work they do for the local community. He also met local bell ringers who sounded the church bells to mark the Royal occasion.

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwell visit Wisbech. (5650989)
The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwell visit Wisbech. (5650989)

Meanwhile the Duchess was welcomed into the Wisbech and District Museum where she met with pupils from Elm Road Primary School who were enjoying a literacy activity led by author Marcia Williams, based on her retelling of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.

She spent time chatting with the youngsters who showed her work they had done based around the classic story before the Duchess, who was dressed in a marine blue coat, presented them with a literacy tool-kit, donated by KPMG containing a host of books, activities and resources geared to helping the children to develop a love of reading.

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwell visit Wisbech. (5650995)
The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwell visit Wisbech. (5650995)

She told the children: "You have all done so well and obviously worked hard, you deserve a present."

It was then the turn of the Duchess to receive a gift as Marcia presented her with copies of her book for the Royal couple's grandchildren. The Duchess praised Marcia for not only writing the book but also illustrating it.

The Duchess of Cornwell chats with the waiting crowd. (5651343)
The Duchess of Cornwell chats with the waiting crowd. (5651343)

She was then shown the museum's prized copy of the original manuscript of Dickens' Great Expectations, by Richard Barnwell, Vice Lord Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire.

Afterwards the Duchess moved on to meet with families with younger children from the Oasis Centre who were busy taking part in activities led by representatives from the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge as part of the Talking Together in Cambridgeshire community literacy project, which helps develop children's early communication and language skills.

Prince Charles and Camilla Duchess of Cornwall visit to Wisbech. (5646653)
Prince Charles and Camilla Duchess of Cornwall visit to Wisbech. (5646653)

She joined in with the singing activities which involved the waving of a blue cloth to create the illusion of waves and much to her obvious enjoyment had her arm tugged slightly by the over exuberant Albie Hughes, two, who got very carried away with the cloth waving.

Unveiling a plaque to mark their visit. (5651345)
Unveiling a plaque to mark their visit. (5651345)

His twin sister Lily-Rose then presented a gift of books and proceeded to try to help the Duchess open them by pulling the carefully tied ribbon around them.

But for two-year-old Navy Sindle the whole thing proved too much and she spent most of the time crying into her mum Summer Clarke's shoulder and refusing to join in.

Her Royal Highness then moved on to meet with individual supporters of the museum including 'Refounders' who have each pledged to pay £1,000 a year to help with the museum's running costs over the next five years.

Prince Charles and Camilla Duchess of Cornwall visit to Wisbech. (5646694)
Prince Charles and Camilla Duchess of Cornwall visit to Wisbech. (5646694)

After unveiling a plaque to commemorate her visit the Duchess signed the visitors' book before receiving a fascimile copy of the Great Expectations manuscript from Mr Barnwell who said: "It has been a very happy afternoon and we are delighted, and deeply grateful for your visit here today."

The Duchess also said a few words saying she was happy to be in Wisbech, but wished she had a bit longer.

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwell visit Wisbech. (5651006)
The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwell visit Wisbech. (5651006)

"We always seem to be chasing our tails," she said, adding how impressed she had been by the children and their work and pointing out the importance of literacy.

She ended her visit by chatting to children from the Nene and Ramnoth Road School who gave a rendition of a poem based on the letters in the word Wisbech. They also presented her with a gift of more books.

Joining in activities with young families from the Oasis Centre. (5651361)
Joining in activities with young families from the Oasis Centre. (5651361)

It was then time for the Duchess, like all good grandmothers to look for souvenirs from her visit to take home for the grandchildren. She selected, and paid for a collection of fossils and rocks explaining the children enjoy collecting them.

Prince Charles and Camilla Duchess of Cornwall visit to Wisbech. (5648597)
Prince Charles and Camilla Duchess of Cornwall visit to Wisbech. (5648597)

Finally nearly an hour later than scheduled the Royal couple were reunited ready to depart. But not before the Prince made a quick visit to the steps of Wisbech Castle where he met Steve Tierney and other volunteers who have been working to bring the building back to life as a community asset.

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwell visit Wisbech. (5650991)
The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwell visit Wisbech. (5650991)

A quick wave and Royal motorcade sped off with shouts of 'goodbye' from the children of Nene and Ramnoth School who were lined up outside the museum.

* On a lighter note the waiting crowds had been entertained earlier in the afternoon, about an hour before the arrival of the Royals, of reports of a giant inflatable Father Christmas blocking Cromwell Road in Wisbech.

Children from Elm Road Primary School show the Duchess some of their work based on A Christmas Carol. (5651355)
Children from Elm Road Primary School show the Duchess some of their work based on A Christmas Carol. (5651355)

The Santa, described on social media as being 'the height of house' left drivers shocked after it blew across the busy road.

The unusual obstruction caused havoc for drivers heading both ways to and from Wisbech on Cromwell Road, around 1.30pm, but thankfully was dealt with before the Royals' arrival, with one bystander commenting: "Only in Wisbech".

The Duchess presents the pupils with a literacy toolkit. (5651357)
The Duchess presents the pupils with a literacy toolkit. (5651357)
Prince Charles and Camilla Duchess of Cornwall visit to Wisbech. (5648634)
Prince Charles and Camilla Duchess of Cornwall visit to Wisbech. (5648634)
Looking at the original manuscript of Great Expectations. (5651359)
Looking at the original manuscript of Great Expectations. (5651359)
The Duchess of Cornwell chats with the waiting crowd. (5651343)
The Duchess of Cornwell chats with the waiting crowd. (5651343)
Prince Charles and Camilla Duchess of Cornwall visit to Wisbech. (5648636)
Prince Charles and Camilla Duchess of Cornwall visit to Wisbech. (5648636)
Prince Charles and Camilla Duchess of Cornwall visit to Wisbech. (5648635)
Prince Charles and Camilla Duchess of Cornwall visit to Wisbech. (5648635)
Prince Charles and Camilla Duchess of Cornwall visit to Wisbech. (5648639)
Prince Charles and Camilla Duchess of Cornwall visit to Wisbech. (5648639)
The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwell visit Wisbech. (5651002)
The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwell visit Wisbech. (5651002)
The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwell visit Wisbech. (5651000)
The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwell visit Wisbech. (5651000)
Prince Charles and Camilla Duchess of Cornwall visit to Wisbech. (5648598)
Prince Charles and Camilla Duchess of Cornwall visit to Wisbech. (5648598)
Prince Charles and Camilla Duchess of Cornwall visit to Wisbech. (5646624)
Prince Charles and Camilla Duchess of Cornwall visit to Wisbech. (5646624)
Royal visit Ely (5646505)
Royal visit Ely (5646505)
On her way to the museum the Duchess chats with school children. (5651349)
On her way to the museum the Duchess chats with school children. (5651349)
Gettign ready to leave as the rain comes down after a long afternoon in Wisbech. (5651339)
Gettign ready to leave as the rain comes down after a long afternoon in Wisbech. (5651339)
The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwell visit Wisbech. (5651004)
The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwell visit Wisbech. (5651004)
The Duchess presents the pupils with a literacy toolkit. (5651357)
The Duchess presents the pupils with a literacy toolkit. (5651357)
The Duchess selected gifts to take home for her grandchildren at the conclusion of her visit. (5651642)
The Duchess selected gifts to take home for her grandchildren at the conclusion of her visit. (5651642)
Prince Charles and Camilla Duchess of Cornwall visit to Wisbech. (5648637)
Prince Charles and Camilla Duchess of Cornwall visit to Wisbech. (5648637)
The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwell visit Wisbech. (5650987)
The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwell visit Wisbech. (5650987)
Gettign ready to leave as the rain comes down after a long afternoon in Wisbech. (5651339)
Gettign ready to leave as the rain comes down after a long afternoon in Wisbech. (5651339)
For the Oliver family the Royal visit meant a day of manning the road blocks. While their fellow Wisbech town and district councillors were mingling with Royalty town councillor Jess Oliver, her fellow councillor and dad David and mum Barbara were on duty. They had been there since 7am.
For the Oliver family the Royal visit meant a day of manning the road blocks. While their fellow Wisbech town and district councillors were mingling with Royalty town councillor Jess Oliver, her fellow councillor and dad David and mum Barbara were on duty. They had been there since 7am.
While the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwell were on their way to Wisbech a giant inflatable Santa was causing havoc on the town's Cromwell Road.
While the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwell were on their way to Wisbech a giant inflatable Santa was causing havoc on the town's Cromwell Road.


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