Emanating from the17th Century, Launceston’s motto "Royale et Loyale", was rekindled on Tuesday with a visit from Their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall. Greeted by Mayor of Launceston Cllr Leighton Penhale and the Mayoress, the royal visit to Cornwall coincided with the 70th anniversary of Prince Charles becoming Duke of Cornwall. The Duke and Duchess arrived through the narrow and historic streets of this medieval town to throngs of well-wishers, both young and old alike. They alighted in the town square of the ‘Ancient capital of Cornwall’ to find it bedecked with red, white and blue bunting and of course, splashes of Cornish tartan and St Piran flags.
After speaking to children in the crowd, the royal couple were treated to a tour of the local artisan market. Organised by Miss Ivy Events, the market showcased the best of local Cornish food, drink, arts and crafts and Their Royal Highnesses exchanged friendly banter with traders and other visitors to the market. There was a profound sense of excitement in the town. Despite the weather changing and lightning streaking across the sky, the mood of the event remained upbeat and fun, with well-wishers even cheering from the windows overlooking the market.
After being introduced to members of the Town Council, Their Royal Highnesses took centre stage to witness the inaugural performance of ‘DONS LANSON’ – The Launceston Dance. Local contemporary dance performer Gemma Kempthorne worked with local school children to choreograph the dance and the children were thrilled that their first performance was in front of Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall. ‘Local boy done good’ and internationally renowned composer Simon Dobson, was commissioned to write the music for the dance and was in Launceston to hear its first public performance. Launceston Town Band accompanied the dance… the cherry on the top of a very large and royal cake!
The Mayor of Launceston, Cllr Penhale commented on the whole event saying, “It was a great honour and privilege to welcome the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall to the ancient capital of Cornwall and to visit our wonderful town. We were all very excited leading up to the visit and having spoken to many residents, no one was disappointed. This was a very special day in the life of Launceston.”
As the children’s procession faded into the surrounding network of streets, Town Crier, Cllr Rob Tremain, introduced the royal couple to a commemorative plaque which records the newly created People’s Herbarium. This special work which was overseen by local artist Karen Howse, will return to Launceston’s Lawrence House Museum following the completion of its restoration work.
Shortly before the royal couple departed to complete their Cornish tour, they were presented with posies from Thomas Gribble and Daisy Cornish.
Some wonderful photographs from the recent Royal visit to Launceston — if you have any pictures please share them to our photography club page using the link below-