Charles and Camilla make historic visit to Bugthorpe

Cheering crowds welcomed the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall to Bugthorpe on Tuesday on a hugely historic day for the village and the monarchy.

Around 400 flag waving supporters flocked to the village for the momentous event, made even more significant coming just a day after the prince became a grandfather.

Charles and Camilla dropped by the village as part of their two-day tour of Yorkshire and were led around by Lord Halifax with the drizzle holding off for their brief appearance.

The mix of young and old in the crowd, reflected the interest people still maintain in the Royal Family, and this week’s new arrival has only peaked that intrigue.

The subject of the Royal baby unsurprisingly dominated the event, though Charles and Camilla remained tight lipped about possible names, Charles simply saying: “I’m thrilled, it’s very exciting.”

Arriving in a black Bentley, flanked by Royal security guards, the Prince and Duchess were quickly welcomed by people offering gifts, as they shook hands with countless well wishers.

One of those was Simon Barrett from Thixendale, with his seven month old son Jamie.

“It’s great meeting them, I’ve been teaching Jamie how to wave his flag and he’s really good at it.” he said.

“I tried to meet Prince Charles once before but unfortunately I couldn’t make it so to see them both now is fantastic.

“I also have a stepson called Charlie, so if the Royal baby is named James or Charles it would be great.

“Charles asked me if I was getting much sleep at the moment, because of the baby, and I told him that William and Kate should grab whatever sleep they can get at the moment.

“It’s quite an honour that Charles said hello to us especially on his first day as a grandfather.”

It wasn’t just the very young out in large numbers to see the Royal couple, Alec Dale, 88, and Marjorie Eastwood, 86, from Stamford Bridge Beaumont Care Home, were among the older visitors shaking hands with the Royals.

Alec, who has long waited to see Charles and Camilla, said: “It was very nice to shake hands with Charles, I’m so pleased, I’ve never seen any of the Royal family before.”

Marjorie added: “I visited Buckingham Palace a long time ago, and I’m delighted to see them here today, it’s been a great morning.”

While many offered Charles and Camilla their congratulations and asked for any details on the Royal baby, Sam Collins, 15, with his mum Liz and dad Graham from Bishop Wilton, chatted about other things.

“I got to talk to Charles when he came past and he started asking me questions about my camera.” Sam said.

“He also has a very strong grip when he shakes your hand.”

Mum Liz added: “We’ve come out as a family and we’ve had a great time, it’s been a right Royal occasion and in such a lovely setting.”

As many people from nearby villages converged on Bugthorpe for a glimpse of the Prince and Duchess, for some the Royal visit was just a great day for everyone in the community to get together.

Rachel and Eric Parks, with their children Ben, 6, and Nelly, 3, from Full Sutton were just one such family.

Rachel said: “We’ve come here out of curiosity really, it’s very rare that the Royals come, but it’s great to meet up with so many people you’ve not seen for a while.

“There’s more people out now then there were for the village’s Jubilee celebrations last year, so it’s been a great turnout for them and it’s nice that the visit has been kept so low key.”

After leaving the village, Charles and Camilla stopped at the newly opened Uncleby Education Centre, a new education space provided free-of-charge to school children to learn about rural issues.

Developed by the Halifax Estates, the education centre hosted a pottery and art workshop on Tuesday for the Royal visit, as children from Bishop Wilton and Bugthorpe Schools, enjoyed the facility.

Father James Finnemore, from St Andrew’s Church in Bugthorpe, attended to education centre visit.

“I think the visit went very well, The Prince and Duchess were introduced to all the centre staff and seemed very happy.” he said.

“Obviously I’m sure their minds are on the new baby in the family but it was very good of them to keep their engagement and they were smiling the whole time.”