Prince William was greeted by hundreds of people and glorious sunshine when he visited Newquay on Thursday.

Residents and holidaymakers flocked to Fistral Beach to see the new Duke of Cornwall who met representatives from local lifesaving organisations.

The Duke spent time with Holywell Bay and Newquay Surf Life Saving Clubs’ members.

His Royal Highness watched various demonstrations of training programmes on the beach including resuscitation drills and even joined in a game of beach volleyball.

Prince William enjoyed a game of volleyball during his visit to Fistral ( )
Prince William watched a CPR demonstration (Picture: Warren Wilkins) ( )
Prince William talks to members of Holywell Surf Life Saving Club ( )
Prince William chats to young lifesavers ( )

The Prince, who is a keen surfer, admitted he would rather swap his formal attire for a wetsuit and hit the waves but duty called.

Among the young lifesavers Prince William met was nine-year-old Phoenix Kanes who got his plaster cast signed by His Royal Highness.

The Duke of Cornwall broke Royal etiquette signing the cast as he said to Phoenix: “Shhh, don't tell anyone. I'm not meant to do that!"

Phoenix said afterwards: “It was great meeting the Prince. I’m definitely going to keep the cast now.”

Phoenix proudly shows off his signed cast (Picture: Warren Wilkins) ( )

Prince William then met lifeguards and staff from the RNLI, who provide a seasonal service to Fistral Beach, to hear about the work they are doing to keep local people and tourists safe.

The Duke was introduced to RNLI head of lifeguard services Robbie Warrington, Henry Irvine, RNLI Lifeguard Lead for the south west, and RNLI lead lifeguard supervisor Lewis Timson who talked through the RNLI lifeguard service on Fistral beach and further afield.

Prince William was told RNLI lifeguards in Cornwall in 2023 aided 6,973 people and saved 26 lives across 58 beaches.

The Duke observed RNLI lifeguards carry out a training session on an all-terrain vehicle around a course controlled with barriers and training signage.

Prince William then walked up to the RNLI lifeguard facility and into the observation tower to meet with duty lifeguards Saul Woodfinden and Elise Irish.

His Royal Highness also met several volunteers from Newquay RNLI Lifeboat Station, including volunteer lifeboat operations manager Gareth Horner MBE, who often trains with the Fistral lifeguard team to ensure they are ready to jointly respond to a rescue if tasked. Last year, Newquay RNLI Lifeboat Station launched 58 times.

Prior to leaving, The Duke was presented with a copy of ‘To Save Every One’, a new book to commemorate 200 years of RNLI courage and three RNLI lifeguard towels for Their Royal Highnesses children.

Gareth Horner said: “It was incredible for myself and some of the lifeboat crew to have the opportunity to meet The Duke of Cornwall today.

“The team spoke to him about the lifesaving work we do, the training and commitment involved in being a volunteer, and the joined up work we do with the charity’s lifeguards and other search and rescue services in the area.

“It was particularly special for me as today is my birthday, The Duke wished me a ‘Happy Birthday’, it was a lovely way to celebrate.”

His Royal Highness, who has a personal background in search and rescue from serving as a search and rescue Sea King helicopter pilot for the RAF, showed great interest in the lifesaving work of the RNLI lifeguards and lifeboat crew across Newquay.

Lewis Timson, RNLI lead lifeguard supervisor and volunteer at Newquay RNLI Lifeboat Station, who hosted the visit, said: “We were extremely privileged to welcome His Royal Highness The Duke of Cornwall to our lifeguard facility today and be able to talk to him about our lifesaving work at the beach.

“It was an incredible honour to meet him, and he showed a genuine and passionate interest in the work of the RNLI and the part we each play in saving lives at sea.”

Before leaving Prince William met members of the public who had gathered to catch a glimpse of the Royal, a number of which managed to get a selfie with him.

Among those who got to chat to the Duke was Janice Greasley who was on holiday from London.

She said: “This has made my holiday. I have always loved William. I would like to thank him for the photo shoot and for coming down to Cornwall. I’m lucky enough to be here.”

Miss Newquay, Milla Magee, got the opportunity to talk to Prince William about her project GOFARWITHCPR, which is aimed at bringing CPR and first aid training as compulsory into the school system.

Milla said: “The Prince acknowledged the importance of CPR and agreed knowledge of CPR training could be the difference between life and death.

“He agreed that my project would be best served within educational settings as a life skill needed by the younger generation as standard within the national curriculum." Milla plans to work with local MPs and schools to continue this journey by bringing her campaign to the attention of ministers within government.

Prince William poses for a selfie (Picture: Warren Wilkins) ( )
Prince William arrives at Fistral Beach ( )

Newquay mayor Cllr Drew Creek welcomed His Royal Highness to Fistral Beach, which was his first public engagement as mayor.

Cllr Creek said: “It has been an honour that this has been my first proper public appearance as the mayor.

“Newquay has really turned out for the visit as did the weather, which makes Newquay look resplendent in the sun.”

Earlier in the day Prince William visited Nansledan to see the site where the Duchy of Cornwall’s first innovative housing project will be built to help address homelessness.

Prince William looking at the homes for the homeless plans at Nansledan ( )

Prince William met with representatives who are leading the development of the site, which will provide 24 homes with wrap-around support for local people experiencing homelessness. 

The Duchy of Cornwall will be delivering the project alongside, St Petrocs.

The homeless charity will be helping residents harness the benefits of an active and growing community in Nansledan where training and employment pathways exist, alongside more permanent housing solutions.

The Duke talked to Henry Meacock, the CEO of St Petrocs, during his visit and 26-year-old Max Hedges from Camborne, who has previously been homeless.

St Petrocs has helped him get back on his feet and he is now in the process of joining the Royal Navy.

Construction is set to begin on the homes for the homeless in September 2024 and the first homes are due for completion in autumn 2025.

The scheme is part of a five-year programme called Homeward led by The Royal Foundation of The Prince and Princess of Wales to show that it is possible to end homelessness. 

Homewards strives to form locally led coalitions of committed individuals, organisations, and businesses who will work together to create and deliver a tailored plan to prevent and end homelessness in their areas.

Henry said: “It is great to have someone of His Royal Highness stature to take the lead in this project.

“St Petrocs is delighted to be a part of the scheme which will have a positive impact addressing local need.

“The programme is all about breaking the cycle of homelessness through community engagement and action.

“A key part of the Nansledan is its social housing and due to the long-term nature of the development there will be a pathway to permanent housing for many residents that come into the project.

“Prince William has had a direct influence in this project as he believes it is such an important issue.”

Liz Laurence, the head of Homeward, added: “Homeward is an initiative launched by the Royal Foundation and its all about demonstrating it is possible to end homeless.

“The Newquay project will provide high quality accommodation to break the cycle of homelessness. This is just the start of what we want to achieve across six locations.”

Sam Kirkness, a development manager at the Duchy of Cornwall, said: “We are excited to be working with St Petrocs on this project who do such great work helping the homeless locally.”

Prince William then made his first official visit to the Isles of Scilly on Friday since becoming Duke of Cornwall in September 2022.

The Duke visited St Mary’s Harbour and met representatives from local businesses operating in the area as well as local schoolchildren.

His Royal Highness then travelled to St Mary’s Community Hospital to meet staff and hear about a new integrated health and social care facility which is set to be built on adjacent land owned by the Duchy of Cornwall.

Prince William was given a tour of the hospital, before being handed a spade to break the ground at the site of the new facility. He described the development as "exciting" and added: "I look forward to coming to see it next year.”

Prince William breaking the ground at the site of the new facility ( )

He then met patients and staff and was asked by administrator Tracey Smith how his wife was doing. The Prince said she was “doing well” after her cancer diagnosis.

Matron Lynda McHale, who has just completed 50 years service with the NHS and was among those to greet His Royal Highness, said: "The Duke asked what had kept me in the job for 50 years.

“I told him that I love my job and one of the main reasons is because of the teams I have had the honour to work alongside over the years.

"The whole experience has been really positive and has made the new build and integration really real for the team on St Mary's and everyone on the islands.”

The Duke was shown round the community hospital by Trust Chief Executive, Debbie Richards ( )

The Duke was shown round the community hospital by Trust chief executive, Debbie Richards, who described the day as special. She said: "The visit from His Royal Highness is a real morale boost for both health and social care staff.

“They have worked tirelessly to see this plan come to fruition. Without their vision and championing, we would not have got this project off the ground.

"It has been a very special day for our staff and a very special day for the islands. One of the really moving things about the day was how His Royal Highness wanted to hear from staff about the reality of delivering healthcare in such a remote setting, day in day out. His curiosity and desire to understand more is really, really welcome".

The Duke also met with representatives from the local council who are working with the Duchy of Cornwall to make the new healthcare facility a reality.

The Duke met members of the Council of the Isles of Scilly, including Councillor Robert Francis, Chairman, as His Royal Highness signed a special book to mark the occasion ( )

A key tenet of the Duchy of Cornwall’s operating principles is to support communities and the people within them, working alongside stakeholders and partners, such as the NHS and the council to deliver investment and opportunities.

The new health and social care facility will provide twelve residential care home beds, NHS inpatient beds and a modern maternity suite.

The aim is to develop a new model of care that provides robust services to keep people at home, or close to home where clinically possible.