Page last updated at 13:06 GMT, Monday, 9 June 2008 14:06 UK

Prince will finally pay off debt

King Charles II
King Charles II went into exile without paying the debt

The Prince of Wales will finally pay off a family debt dating back more than 350 years on a visit to Worcester.

For the past 15 years businessmen in the city have been trying to reclaim the 453.3s which King Charles II failed to pay 357 years ago.

Before the Battle of Worcester in 1651 the Worcester Clothiers made the monarch thousands of new uniforms to fight Cromwell's army.

But he was driven out of the country and never actually paid for them.

Prince Charles is expected to finally pay off his ancestral debt when he visits the city with the Duchess of Cornwall on Tuesday - but without the interest.

According to the Institute for the Measurement of Worth website, the sum of 453 and three shillings in 1651 would have been worth approximately 47,500 in 2007, if interest was taken into account.

'Very grateful'

A spokeswoman for Clarence House said Prince Charles would personally repay a sum of 453.15 to the current High Master of the Clothiers Andrew Grant at a ceremony.

The spokeswoman said the prince would hand over the money at The Commandery, which served as the headquarters for the Royalists during the battle, as a "gesture of goodwill".

Prince Charles
The money will be presented in a purse

The money will be presented in a purse made by the Royal Shakespeare Company in the style of a 1650 "gaming purse".

Mr Grant said: "We are very grateful to The Prince of Wales for repaying the debt to the Worcester Clothiers Company during His Royal Highness's visit to The Commandery.

"We very much look forward to welcoming The Prince and The Duchess to this historic building which is steeped in history and which will make this a most happy, memorable and unique event."

Charles II was eventually invited back to England to reclaim his throne in the 1660s.

During their visit to Worcestershire the Prince and Duchess will also open the new surgery at Upton upon Severn and meet people affected by last summer's floods in the town.

The royal couple will also travel along the Severn Valley Railway to mark the reopening of the line, which was also damaged by flooding.


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