THE Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall braved torrential downpours to attend a church service in celebration of Camilla’s 70th birthday at Blisland on Friday.
Charles and his wife were able to warm up after the service of thanksgiving at St Protus and St Hyacinth’s Church, when they visited the local combined Post Office, shop and tea room to meet villagers.
On entering The Glebe Post Office and Store, on the third day of their annual summer tour of Devon and Cornwall, the Prince commented: “I’m sorry we’re a bit damp.”
He did not have to be asked twice when offered a restorative cuppa, and said: “Well, go on, we’ll have a cup of tea.”
The royal couple seemed relaxed as they mingled with people from the small moorland community, petting dogs and inquiring about what life is like there.
The Prince and Duchess also chatted to store manager Sonia Mellow, who said: “It was a great pleasure to have them visit our village and we feel honoured that they took the time to come to Blisland because we are a small little village and sometimes people don’t know where we are.”
Camilla was handed a jigsaw puzzle featuring a scene of the village as she left by Helen Gurr, who said: “She said ‘thank you’.
“I said this is what the village should have looked like today (without the rain).”
Earlier, the couple were given a musical welcome to the village on the edge of Bodmin Moor by a team of bell ringers at the church, which dates back to Norman times and was packed despite the inclement weather.
The service was led by the Bishop of Truro, Tim Thornton, and by the Rev Canon Sherry Bryan, who read Sir John Betjeman’s take on the church, which he described as ‘the first really beautiful work of man which my boyhood vividly remembers’.
Charles and Camilla joined in with the three hymns while the Prince appeared to also look around at the church’s interior, which was richly painted and decorated with wildflowers for the occasion.