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Looking back at King Charles III's recent visit to Launceston

In July, hundreds of people poured into Launceston to shake the hand of His Majesty King Charles III, then Prince Charles, Duke of Cornwall, who was accompanied by the then Duchess of Cornwall, now Queen Consort.

Here's our round-up from the visit, bearing in mind that His Majesty was, at the time, Prince of Wales and Duke of Cornwall. You can read the full article in your latest Launceston Life magazine...

Their Royal Highnesses were greeted by crowds of cheering people, with flags, cameras and umbrellas in-hand, as they arrived in Launceston to start day two of their royal tour of Devon and Cornwall on Tuesday, 19th July.

Arriving in the Square to music by Launceston Town Band and being greeted by local dignitaries, the Duke and Duchess began their visit to Launceston with a browse around the Royal Market in the Square, a delightful craft and produce market attended by local businesses offering everything from handmade clay pots and silver jewellery to sheep’s cheese, Cornish ice cream and local beer.

After meeting the businesses of the market, Their Royal Highnesses continued their way around the Square, shaking the hands of people in the crowd, before being escorted onto the stage to watch a wonderful performance by the Lanson Dance, made up of local school children and choreographed by Gemma Kempthorne.

Before departing onto the next leg of their tour, Their Royal Highnesses unveiled a plaque to mark the visit, before being presented with flowers by local children Thomas and Daisy.

As the buzz of Launceston’s royal visitors settled, the Royal Market continued and Launceston Life caught up with some of the businesses who had met the Duke and Duchess.

The Charles Causley Trust were keen to publicise their Festival of Arts & Literature which took place at the end of July. Nicola Nuttall, director of the Trust, said: “It was great! We had a good chat with the Duchess of Cornwall, who has an interest in literature and already owns the collective poems of Charles Causley. It was fabulous, and has really put Launceston on the map.”

Ben McManigan Ceramics was delighted when the Duchess of Cornwall asked if she could have one of his beautiful clay pots: “I explained to them that my work is made with local clay in Polyphant, and then she asked if she could take home a bowl, and of course I said she could! She wanted one of the small copper ones. Prince Charles then came up and asked which one she had gone for. After I showed him, he said, ‘Oh yes, I thought she might!’ The bowl matched her dress. I’m pretty chuffed!”

And local businesses weren’t the only ones to have such a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Mayor, Cllr Leighton Penhale, said: “When given the opportunity to be Mayor along with Gillian as Mayoress it was such an honour to represent our lovely town. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would greet the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall - the future king - to our town.

“Thanks to the school children, the council staff, councillors, the Town Band, stall holders and all who helped to make a most successful occasion.”

Deputy Mayor Helen Bailey had a wonderful time welcoming the Duke and Duchess to Launceston. She said: “It was lovely. Of course it was a shame about the weather, but that didn’t stop people from turning out to see them so it was really nice.

“It’s been an amazing morning which has been really positive for the town, and all the businesses have pulled out the stops to put on a great event.”

Cllr Rob Tremain, Town Crier, town councillor and local historian, added: “I was so proud to be able to accompany The Duchess of Cornwall on her visit to our wonderful town. Camilla wanted to meet with as many local people and children as she could. Everyone was so welcoming and friendly towards her. It showed how nice our town is. Since the 1300's the Dukes of Cornwall have been visiting their Capital and Lanson gave Charles a very friendly welcome on Tuesday.”

Did you shake the King's hand during his recent visit to Launceston? Do you have any happy memories to share from the visit? Email

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