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Charles and Camilla’s day in the West Midlands

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall paid a visit to the West Midlands this morning.

The couple began their day at the School of Jewellery in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter, which produces 40% of the UK’s jewellery.

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The School of Jewellery, located in the famous quarter since 1890, is part of Birmingham City University and is supported by The Prince’s Foundation for Building Community. It helps train young jewellers of the future in silversmithing, horology and gemmology and used traditional techniques and new technology to achieve their designs.

After arrival Charles and Camilla viewed the work some of the students and some alumni, who have gone on to have their own lines. The Duchess then toured the Gemmology and Silversmithing studio for a while as The Prince headed around the corner, on a short walk to Fattorinis.

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Thomas Fattorini Ltd is a 187 year old company, run by the same family, which is now in its sixth generation. It produces emblematic jewellery, such as insignia, national honours, trophies medals and much more.

Charles met with craftsmen and apprentices, seeing them use their skills in the workshop. He will also be shown honours familiar to him, such as those used at investitures.

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Later in the afternoon, Charles travelled to Wightwick Manor in Wolverhampton, to meet with staff, supporters and volunteers of The National Trust, of which The Prince is President. The reception was held in the Victorian manor’s tea room.

Charles stayed in Wolverhampton for the rest of the day, and attended the local branch of Samaritans to meet with the volunteers that keep the branch going. There are 21,200 volunteers from 201 branches in the UK and ROI.  In 2013, the charity answered 5.23 million calls for help, showing the need for the service.

Last year The Prince of Wales visited the Samaritans’ Central London branch, and held a reception at Clarence House to mark the charity’s 60th Anniversary the following day.

Camilla, meanwhile, left the Jewellery Quarter and visited Elmhurst School of Dance, of which she is Patron. The Duchess met students of the school and took a tour of the studios used for practice. Camilla was treated to a performance before unveiling a plaque to mark the school’s 10th anniversary in Birimingham.

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The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall later joined up once more, to mark the 40th anniversary of ‘Interfaith Wolverhampton’ at the ROyal School. The couple attended a cultural performance and met with guests at a reception. The initiative stemmed from the Wolverhampton Inter-Faith Council, which began in 1968 as an informal response to Enoch Powell’s “Rivers of Blood” speech.

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Photos: © Chloe Howard 2014

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