King Charles III and Queen Camilla visited St Ives on Thursday as part of their first official visit to Cornwall since the Coronation.
Their Majesties first engagement was at the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Tate St Ives, which cares for the artist’s former home and studio. They were accompanied by Anne Barlow, director of Tate St Ives.
They also met head gardener Jodi Dickinson who described how he has worked to restore the garden to its former glory. Jodi, whose career in horticulture was supported by The Prince’s Trust, presented Their Majesties with some rare seeds from a cineraria which was planted by Hepworth herself.
The King and Queen were then introduced to young people from the Tate Collective programme, who work with Tate St Ives to organise events and workshops in the Hepworth Museum.
They also met key figures from the local artistic community of St Ives. King Charles and Queen Camilla then planted a penstemon shrub to celebrate the royal visit.
Moving on, they visited St Ives Harbour where they met members of the community.
Their Majesties heard the choristers of Truro Cathedral perform as they arrived at the harbour, some which sang at the Coronation. Their Majesties listened to the Proclamation, which marked the Coronation, being readout by the Cornish Kernow.
They also met a number of Coronation Champions, who were recognised earlier in the year for their outstanding voluntary contribution, before moving on to meet members of the St Ives RNLI team.
Highlighting the heritage of RNLI family connections were grandmother Emileen Williams, who is the shop manager and chair of the fundraising team, and her grandson Ant Stewart, who is a RNLI Senior Lifeguard at Porthmeor Beach.
Also present were senior helm George Deacon, the longest-serving seagoing volunteer at St Ives Lifeboat Station, and members of the local RNLI water safety team Tom Bolt and Mic Poynter.
St Ives’ volunteer lifeboat operations manager James Perkin said: “We are extremely privileged that our station was chosen for Their Majesties’ first RNLI visit since becoming King Charles III and Queen Camilla. It is especially poignant as St Ives RNLI Lifeboat Station was Queen Elizabeth II’s last RNLI station visit.
“Our volunteers are very proud of what they do, and meeting Their Majesties was a real honour. The atmosphere in St Ives was jubilant and it will certainly be a day we will never forget.”