The Duchess of Cornwall has revealed she is looking forward to leaving her facemask at home, telling a Welsh college student “I can’t wait to get rid of these”.
Camilla’s comment came as she and the Prince of Wales visited the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama to learn how staff and students have coped during the pandemic.
She was also spotted with a Fitbit Charge 4 Fitness Tracker on her wrist, which helps wearers track their efforts to stay in shape.
The gadget costs around £130 and has proved popular with those wanting to keep in shape during lockdown, allowing users to monitor everything from heart rate to calories.
When the royal couple first arrived, they met students and staff in the college’s foyer and the duchess told William Pearson, studying for an MA in advanced opera performance “I can’t wait to get rid of these” and touched her face mask.
Charles and Camilla were treated to performances of music and drama by the talented students who, with the help of lecturers and tutors, have managed to continue their studies at the Cardiff-based college despite Covid restrictions.Zoe Goriely, 24, who completes an MA in acting this month, gave a heartfelt performance of a scene from Shakespeare’s The Two Gentlemen of Verona.
In the solo scene she played the character of a maid who teases her teenage ward about a love letter the young girl has received from an admirer, and at one point stamps on the pages of the note.
The 24-year-old spoke to the prince and his wife after the performance and said later: “It’s lovely to be able to do what we love to do, for people who love what we do.”
Charles’s official harpist Alis Huws, who is a graduate of the college, also gave a performance before the royal couple met opera students in costume.
The prince is the college’s president and while he held a private meeting with senior executives the duchess watched a brief scene from The Flying Bedroom – an immersive children’s theatre production from a new company of music, composition and design students from the college.
As Ruby Brown cradled a puppet she chatted to Camilla who said about the performance “It’s brilliant” adding: “I think it’s a lovely thing to do, you’re a really clever lady.”
The group of students who began working together on video calls are due to perform their show at Theatr Clwyd in north Wales in July and tour schools in the region in September.
Charles and Camilla are spending the week touring Wales and later the prince gave the royal command for an archer to fire his arrow – trumping health and safety rules.
Archer Bob Bannister, of the Court Leet of Llantrisant, had donned his traditional green and white outfit and brandished his bow and several arrows for the royal visit to see a £1.4 million restoration of Llantrisant Guildhall, built in 1388 and renovated in 1773.
He was not meant to fire any arrows during the visit because of health and safety rules, but Charles said: “Are you going to give us a demonstration”?
He replied: “I can do sir, but only on royal command.”
Charles said: “Well, as you’re standing here.”
Longbowmen from Llantrisant fought at the Battle of Crecy in 1346 during the Hundred Years’ War under Edward, the Black Prince, and Mr Bannister’s arrow landed harmlessly in a thicket at Llantrisant Castle near Cardiff.
Afterwards, the archer said: “Health and safety rules dictate that I can’t fire the arrows but I said royal command trump’s health and safety.”
Before the end of the day Camilla carried out a solo event visiting Llanerch Vineyard in Pontyclun, South Wales, in her role as president of GB Wines.
The duchess had met the vineyard’s owner, Ryan Davies, at a Buckingham Palace event and made good on a promise to visit his business.
The royal, whose father Major Bruce Shand was a wine merchant, tried the winery’s award-winning sparking Cariad blush and declared it “fantastic”.
Mr Davies, 34, who bought the winery 10 years ago and has created a thriving business, was praised by Camilla.
“Before I go can I congratulate you on the wonderful job you have done here with this incredible vineyard,” she said.
“I know you started knowing nothing about it and have learnt a lot in a short space of time.
“As president of Wines GB, I am so proud to be part of the wine growing industry in the UK. I’ve been to quite a lot of vineyards – 600, I think so far – and I intend to visit as many as I possibly can.
“We are really getting it right in this country and giving the French a run for their money. Many congratulations.”
While Camilla was supporting the nation’s wine industry, Charles toured the Y Bwthyn NGS Macmillan Specialist Palliative Care Unit at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital in the village of Ynysmaerdy near Cardiff.
During the visit, the prince met NHS staff from Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board, patients and their loved ones at the eight-bed unit, which opened its doors in September 2019.
The £7.25 million unit was largely funded by Macmillan Cancer Support and its charity partner National Garden Scheme – with the prince supporting both organisations as patron.