Royal Couple To Visit Scilly Next Week

royal visit 2012_3We’re getting a royal visit next week. Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall, Camilla, will visit St Mary’s and St Agnes on Tuesday.

The theme of their Westcountry tour is tourism and supporting local communities.

And it will give the owner of the St Mary’s vineyard, Robert Francis, an opportunity to honour his promise of presenting bottles of wine from his first batch.

The Holy Vale Vineyard, which opened a public tasting room last year, was planted in the spring of 2009.

It’s made up of parcels of Duchy-leased land containing 7,000 Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Gris vines in Holy Vale, Maypole, Silver Carn and Helvear.

Robert’s three grandchildren, Sophie, Tom and William Francis, will present Camilla with a bottle of each of the five wines produced at the new venture.

The Prince will be interested in Robert’s achievements. Charles is President of the UK Vineyards Association.

During their day, the royal couple will meet more local producers at a specially-arranged fair on Holgate’s Green.

There’ll be a range of Scilly-produced food and drink from businesses including Island Fish, Troytown Farm and Veronica Farm Fudge inside a marquee.

Carmen Stevens will be one of the stallholders and she’ll be showcasing her ‘Scilly Maid’ Chocolate.

Carmen says she’ll have to call on some friends for assistance setting up, because she’ll have a guesthouse full of visitors to look after before “dashing down” to the market for the visit.

Chris Garratt’s Sunset Syncopators tea-dance band will provide the musical entertainment in the tent.

Whilst on St Mary’s the royal couple will also learn about the IFCA’s lobster tagging and meet the Islands’ Partnership team.

In the afternoon, the royal party will visit St Agnes and what is possibly Britain’s smallest dairy farm.

There are just nine cows at Troytown and their milk is used to make ice cream, clotted cream, butter and yogurt.

Christine and Mike Hicks will also demonstrate how they use locally grown plants like geranium in their St Agnes-made ‘28 miles’ soap.

Christine says her fellow islanders are looking forward to the visit and she hopes it will generate positive publicity for Scilly.

There’ll also be a tour of the newly refurbished St Agnes Island Hall, which has been highly praised for its architectural design and sustainable features.

A team of volunteers from the island managed the funding and construction of the project.

Mike Hicks says Prince Charles should be impressed with the changes made to the building since his last visit.

As part of the Royal’s Westcountry tour, Her Royal Highness will also visit one of Scilly’s favourite charities, the home of the Cornwall Air Ambulance, of which she is President.

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