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Friday, May 8, 1998 Published at 18:48 GMT 19:48 UK


Queen visits Charles' 'model' village
image: [ The Queen spent 20 minutes strolling around the village ]
The Queen spent 20 minutes strolling around the village

The Queen has visited the village of Poundbury in Dorset, the site of Prince Charles' vision of the ideal rural community.

The BBC's Royal Correspondent, Jenny Bond, says the people of Poundbury mustered a "respectable crowd" (1'29")
The village has been developed with houses, schools, shops and community buildings arranged to blend in with the natural environment.

During the 20-minute visit the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh strolled up Poundbury's pedestrianised Brookhouse Street.

They asked residents if they liked living in the village, which taxi drivers have nicknamed "Charlesville".

[ image: A mix of old and new]
A mix of old and new
The chairman of Poundbury's Residents Association, retired civil servant Tom Bryant, 63, said: "The Queen asked me if I really liked living here - and I said I did."

The village is the first example of the principles put forward by the Prince in his 1989 book, A Vision of Britain.

Around 500 people now live in Poundbury, which over the next 25 years will expand to 2,500 homes spread over 400 acres of Duchy of Cornwall land on the outskirts of Dorchester.

[ image: One last glimpse ...]
One last glimpse ...
Poundbury's development director, Andrew Hamilton, said the Queen was particularly interested in the traditional Dorset architecture and materials used to build the mix of social and private housing.

Earlier in the day the Queen officially opened the new Dorset County Hospital, a project initially started by Prince Charles.

"It is rare that I am able to complete a task embarked upon by one of my children, but today gives me an opportunity to do so, and in a part of the country in which he has such a close and enduring interest," she said.

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