Page last updated at 17:20 GMT, Monday, 23 June 2008 18:20 UK

Royal couple move into Welsh home

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Wales Today talk to David Curtis, Land Steward for the Duchy of Cornwall about Prince Charles new home in Wales.

Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall are staying for the first time in their west Wales retreat during their summer tour of the country.

Llwynywermod in Carmarthenshire was bought by the Duchy of Cornwall in 2006 and has been undergoing renovations.

The royal couple are making the house their base for the five-day visit.

It began with a visit to St Davids in Pembrokeshire where they were greeted by a crowd of around 300 flag waving children and adults.

With a population of less than 1,800 the cathedral city attracts hundreds of thousand of visitors annually.

The cathedral's resident choir serenaded the prince and the duchess as they arrived on a sunny afternoon.

The royal couple then toured the cathedral's restored cloisters and sipped tea in its new refectory.

The combined project, which has taken two years to complete, cost a total of 4.5m and has transformed the cathedral's dowdy former cubby-hole tea-room into an attraction in its own right.

Prince Charles paid tribute to the tenacity which has seen the project completed after 80 years of planning.

Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall in St Davids Cathedral
Charles and Camilla started their visit in St Davids

He said: "Can I first of all say what an enormous pleasure it is to be able to return to St Davids Cathedral and, with my wife, have a first view together of this unique place.

"It has really been dreamed off for the last 80 years but it is only in the last 10 that it has been possible to bring the project to fruition.

"It is great to be able to celebrate what is really an excellent project."

Later, the couple visited the village of Solva and the oldest working woollen mill in Pembrokeshire.

The prince had earlier commissioned a series of traditional flat weave rugs for the couple's new Welsh farmhouse at Llywnywermod.

Mill owner Tom Grime was also hoping the royal link would give his business a boost.

"It has only been known for a short while that the prince placed a commission with us but we have already had some interest as a result," Mr Grime said.

He said the prince was very interested in how production could be tied in with the area's woollen industry.

The prince and duchess then flew by helicopter to Aberglasney Gardens, in Llangathen, to officially open its new historic gardens trust office.

As patron of the trust, the prince visited the gardens where he was shown around floral displays and met staff.

Among the highlights of the rest of the week will be the launch of an initiative to help hill farmers and an official dinner marking 40 years since Charles became Prince of Wales.

Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall visited the cloisters at St Davids cathedral

When it is completed, the couple's first Welsh home near the village of Myddfai will also offer holidays in the form of rented staff flats.

The project is not completely finished, but the royals will nevertheless stay at their Welsh home for the first time on Monday.

This year's royal tour does not include any destinations in north Wales, but the prince will be holding a series of private meetings with his charities which work in Wales and other organisations.

On Wednesday the prince, accompanied by the duchess, will launch the Cambrian Mountain Initiative in Powys after touring a farm near Aberystwyth and meeting local farmers.

The initiative encourages sheep farmers to sign up to a set of principles, including ensuring their animals are born and bred within a specified area and reared using traditional methods.

The initiative will also assist farmers in marketing their produce and the prince has painted a watercolour which will be used as a logo specially for this.

On Thursday, First Minister Rhodri Morgan will host a celebration dinner to mark the 50th anniversary of the Queen bestowing her son with the title of Prince of Wales.


SEE ALSO
Prince cleared to extend retreat
10 Jul 07 |  South West Wales
Objection to prince's house plan
07 Jun 07 |  South West Wales
Prince's plan for his Welsh home
23 Apr 07 |  South West Wales
Charles meets his new neighbours
16 Mar 07 |  South West Wales
Warm welcome awaits royal couple
22 Nov 06 |  South West Wales
In pictures: Charles' Welsh home
22 Nov 06 |  In Pictures

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