Saturday 22 October 2016

Charles falls for 'curry on shirt joke' from Camilla

Published 18/07/2016 | 17:51

The Prince of Wales samples a curry with the Duchess of Cornwall during a visit to Penzance
The Prince of Wales samples a curry with the Duchess of Cornwall during a visit to Penzance
The Duchess of Cornwall meets a market trader during a visit to a farmers' market outside St John's Hall in Penzance
The Duchess of Cornwall visits a farmers' market in Penzance
The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall visit a farmers' market on the first day of their annual visit to the South West
The Duchess of Cornwall watches a performance by the Penzance Youth String Orchestra
The Duchess of Cornwall meets community groups at St John's Hall in Penzance
The Duchess of Cornwall meets schoolchildren from St Mary's Church of England Primary School in Penzance
Camilla meets members of Penzance Hand Knitters
The Duchess receives a posy from Ila Meredith Mulholland at St John's Hall in Penzance
Camilla treats herself to a Cornish pasty in Penzance

Prince Charles thought he had spilt some curry down his crisp white shirt - thanks to a joke from his wife.

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The Prince had lifted up a spoon of rogan josh curry to smell the rich aroma when the Duchess of Cornwall made the wisecrack at his expense.

Charles, who was wearing a pebble coloured suit, looked surprised and looked down at his shirt but quickly realised Camilla was having him on.

The Duchess made the joke as the Royal couple began the first day of a three-day annual tour to Devon and Cornwall celebrating local food and drink and the region's stage and screen talent.

The jovial moment was regaled by June Hornby, owner of Ruby June's Indian Kitchen, who was running one of the stalls at the farmers' market outside St John's Hall in Penzance town centre.

"The Prince lifted the spoon up and had a sniff of the rogan josh," Ms Hornby said.

"Camilla made a joke that he had dropped some on his shirt and he went 'oh' and looked, but Camilla had had a little joke."

Ms Hornby said she explained to the Prince that her business, which is based in Hayle, makes curries for the wholesale market and also sells them at farmers' markets across Cornwall.

During the tour of the market, the Duchess also paid £6 for two traditional steak Cornish pasties from the Cornish Hen Deli.

Deli owner Sarah Shaw said afterwards: "The Duchess chose the two pasties herself and paid for them."

Colleague Virginia Archer added: "The Duchess said 'I can't leave Cornwall without two pasties'."

While Camilla went inside the Hall - which is the largest granite building in the country - to meet local community groups and celebrate its reopening, Charles officially reopened the Jubilee Pool.

The art deco seawater lido suffered structural damage caused by the winter storms in February 2014 and was closed for the subsequent two summers, re-opening to swimmers in May.

Later, the Royal couple visited the outdoor Minack Theatre to watch extracts of the Surrey Opera Company's performance of A Mid-Summer Night's Dream, and local children from the Minack Youth Theatre put on The Lighthouse Keeper's Lunch.

Charles and Camilla sat perched on granite seats in the front row of the terrace to watch both performances and, due to the hot weather, the pair wore sunglasses and the Prince later donned a panama hat.

The Minack Theatre, which was built by Rowena Cade and her gardener Billy Rawlings, is perched high on the cliffs above the Atlantic Ocean and attracts more than 230,000 visitors a year.

During an interlude, actor Mark Harrandon - who performs at the theatre as Billy the Gardener - told the audience of the founding of the Minack and explained that Mrs Cade was a great lover of dogs.

Referring to The Queen, he joked: "Anyone know anyone who keeps their dogs running around their ankles all the time?"

The audience burst into laughter and the Prince smiled.

After the performances, Charles and Camilla met members of the cast and crew.

Later, the Duchess, who was wearing a pale blue dress by Anna Valentine, attended a reception to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Lord-Lieutenant's Fund for Youth at the Duchy of Cornwall Nursery in Lostwithiel.

The fund has awarded grants totalling £200,000 to more than 200 young people in Cornwall, including Olympic gold medallist Helen Glover, England rugby player Luke Cowan-Dickie, World, European and British champion para-triathlete Melissa Reid and double bass player Ted Francis Smith.

During the engagement, Camilla met young people who have received a grant from the fund and then - with a 5ft ceremonial sword - cut a chocolate birthday cake to commemorate the fund's milestone.

The cake had been made by Jill Osborne, from Trengwainton Garden tea rooms in Penzance.

Colonel Edward Bolitho, Lord-Lieutenant of Cornwall, told guests: "The fund has been a huge success and I am confident that whether these young people reach the very top of their profession or not they have demonstrated their drive and ambition and they will make really great citizens for this country."

Earlier, Camilla visited the English Heritage Blue Plaque centre in Lanteglos-by-Fowey and met the makers of the iconic commemorative plaques as the scheme celebrates its 150th anniversary.

Frank and Sue Ashworth have been making blue plaques from their home for over 30 years and, together with their son Justin - who works with them, they have produced more than 300 plaques for English Heritage and other private clients.

The Duchess previewed a plaque being made to commemorate Thomas John Barnardo, the founder of Barnardo's, a charity of which Camilla has been president since 2007. English Heritage will unveil the plaque later in the year.

The idea of erecting "memorial tablets" was first proposed by William Ewart MP in the House of Commons in 1863.

It had an immediate impact on the public imagination and in 1866 the Royal Society of Arts founded an official plaques scheme.

The Society erected its first plaque - to poet, Lord Byron - in 1867. The blue plaques scheme has been administered by English Heritage since 1986.

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