The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall spent the day away in Kent earlier this week carrying out seven engagements.
The royal couple first arrived at Sheppey Matters at the Sheerness Healthy Living Centre to meet with community groups—including the Community Chef food truck and ‘Sheppey Wheels’ community bus—that promote health in the community and to meet a migrant family from Syria supported by the Kent Refugee Action Network.
Other projects Prince Charles and Camilla saw at the Sheerness Healthy Living Centre include a lace panel display of the Battle of Britain on the wall, which depicts the Bombing of London, the aircrafts in the battle, the badges of the Allied Air Forces, and the floral emblems of Great Britain and the Commonwealth; Sheppey FM, the local radio station; Mentalk, a men’s mental health charity; the Nordic Walking Group; and the over-65s friendship group.
Prince Charles then departed for the Elmley National Nature Reserve, the only family-owned and managed farm that is also designated as a National Nature Reserve.
The Prince of Wales was given a tour by owner Philip Merricks, who told reporters, “We are delighted to have had the opportunity to welcome His Royal Highness to Elmley and to show him the conservation work that has been carried out.”
He continued: “It has been extremely special meeting the Prince of Wales today and having the opportunity to show him the reserve at its busiest in terms of wildlife, and also the positive impact restoring nature to this unique landscape has had on the local economy.”
Prince Charles visited the Elmley National Nature Reserve in his capacity as patron of the Wildfowl and Wetland Trust.
Meanwhile, the Duchess of Cornwall was joined by her rescue dogs Beth and Bluebell for an engagement at the Battersea Dogs & Cats Home’s branch in Brands Hatch. The trio were greeted with a ‘Doggy Guard of Honour’ before touring the facilities and taking part in a training exercise called ‘Temptation Alley,’ where Beth needed to walk through a path laden with dog treats, ignore them, and walk straight to Camilla.
“What could possibly go wrong?” Camilla joked before their turn, but in the end, she and Beth won the trophy as the dog sailed through the course.
The Duchess also met two rescue kittens saved over the holiday period, named, appropriately, Jingle and Bell.
Prince Charles continued on to visit The Historic Dockyard Chatham in his role as patron of the Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust. There, he saw a few projects ahead of the Dockyard’s opening later this week.
Prince Charles visited the Diving Deep: HMS Invincible 1744 exhibition that opens to the public later this month; toured the Command of the Oceans Gallery; and visited the three historic warships docked, the HMS Gannet, the HMS Cavalier and the HM Submarine Ocelot.
“[Prince Charles] has continued to take a lot of interest in the Dockyard, and when COVID came up, he wrote to me and everyone here wishing us well,” Admiral Sir Trevor Soar, the Chairman of the Dockyard Trust, told reporters.
“For him to cement that relationship with another visit is marvellous. I can only encourage people to come and see us, and it’s led by a royal, so come and see what we do.”
Camilla’s love of literature was on display at her next engagement, opening the immersive ‘The Making of Dickens’ exhibition at The Guildhall Museum. Camilla received a tour of the exhibit, accompanied by costumed students and performers of The Rochester and Chatham Dickens Fellowship.
Before departing, Her Royal Highness read parts of Great Expectations to schoolchildren alongside Dickens’s great-great-grandson, Gerald Dickens, and told them: “Read as many books as you can, and I assure you it will help you later in life.”
Prince Charles’s final engagement was a visit to the Copper Rivet Distillery, a craft distillery set up in the “historic and magnificent Victorian Pump House No. 5,” according to Clarence House.
Camilla’s final engagement was a visit to the Rochester Airport to see the new headquarters for the Medway Aircraft Preservation Society, of which she is patron. Camilla met with volunteers and saw the new aircraft they’re preserving, a Short S.16 Scion 11 Floatplane G-AEZF, a ‘30s-era seaplane.