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Royal visit for storm hit Porthleven
6:30am Wednesday 28th May 2014 in News
Helston, Porthleven and Mullion received a visit from royalty yesterday, as the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester carried out a tour of West Cornwall.
Porthleven's storm-hit harbour was among the locations being visited by the pair as the Packet went to press on Tuesday.
They met new mayor Danny Williams and other town councillors, together with representatives of organisations based at the port, over cream teas in the Institute, better known as the port's famous clock tower.
Outside, Porthleven Town Band played a variety of jolly tunes. The Duke, Prince Richard, asked if they would play Helston's Flora Dance - a request politely declined.
The pair arrived separately from different visits earlier in the day, the Duke arriving first.
He briefly visited Suzie Williams in the Four Crows Gallery before heading down to the cannon where he was later joined by his wife.
They spoke to Tim Pryke and Becci Bistam of Porthleven Community Group, which organises events including the annual duck race in the port.
When asked by the Duke whether they had ever considered opening a betting book on the race, they replied they had considered it but decided to stick to fundraising.
Gill Nicholas from Porthleven Bowls Club and members of Porthleven Gig Club also met the honourable visitors.
When asked which was the best club in the area, the gig members conceded it was probably current world champions Falmouth Gig Club.
The royal couple was also able to see the harbour that had to be cleared of boats in February when its defences were broken by storm waves.
Mayor Danny Williams described it was a “very exciting visit”, adding that the Duke and Duchess intimated that they would have been happier to stay longer.
Deputy mayor Barbara Powell added: “The Duchess was charming and went out of her way to talk to everyone.”
The Duchess meets members of Porthleven Coastguard.
Earlier Danish-born Duchess, Birgitte, visited Mullion Harbour, which was also affected by storm damage at the start of the year, plus took a tour of Trenance Chocolate Factory in the village, before viewing the Origin Coffee base at Helston's Water-ma-Trout.
The Duke, who is first cousin to the Queen and 23rd in line to the throne, saw Penzance Promenade, visited Camborne Pool Redruth Food Bank at Centenary Chapel, Camborne, and toured Godolphin House, in addition to meeting the 6th Battalion The Rifles at Moresk Drill Hall in Truro.
The couple also jointly visited Penlee House Gallery and Museum in Penzance.
Today, Wednesday, the couple is due to visit Porthmeor Studios and the Tate Gallery in St Ives before parting again, with the Duke travelling to the Royal Cornwall Museum in Truro while the Duchess sees Leach Pottery in St Ives and Kidz R Us at St Ives Theatre.
The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester live at Kensington Palace in London.
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