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FLYING VISIT; Prince Charles in North Wales.

Byline: OWEN HUGHES

PRINCE Charles was welcomed to North Wales yesterday on a summer tour that took in cutting edge offices, a yogurt maker and RAF Valley.

His first port of call was telephone answering firm Moneypenny in Wrexham, officially opening the firm's new HQ, which incorporates a treehouse meeting room, a pub and a sun terrace.

He was greeted outside the offices by Moneypenny staff and their children, stopping to speak to well wishers including pupils of Ysgol Morgan Llwyd, Wrexham.

He was taken to the on-site pub and treehouse room, and spoke to the team that handles calls for the Canal and River Trust charity, of which he is patron.

Sophie McGarrity, who came through the Moneypenny Foundation training programme, was also introduced to the prince, as was the longest serving employee, receptionist Lynn King.

Sophie said it was "nerve wracking but exciting" and that Prince Charles was "lovely".

Before leaving, the royal unveiled a plaque to mark his visit and addressed a large group of staff. He joked: "I greatly enjoyed meeting some of you and causing mammoth disruption as you were trying to take calls from clients. You will have to explain it was my fault."

Staff gave HRH a standing ovation before he left to travel to yogurt maker Village Dairy/Llaeth y Llan in Llannefydd, where he sampled some of the yogurts produced there.

The family farm run by Gareth and Falmai Roberts has been producing yogurts there since the 1980, and 40 children from Ysgol Llannefydd performed Welsh songs for the prince.

Son Gruffydd, who is a director at the dairy, said: "It's such a big occasion for us and the community, that's why we have the school here involved. This visit is all about enterprise and I think Llaeth y Llan is a great way to show what is achievable in a rural setting."

He concluded the day with an hour-long visit to RAF Valley, Anglesey.

He spoke to members of IV(R) Squadron and Ascent Flight Training, who showed him the Hawk T2 jet trainer aircraft that is used to deliver fighter pilot training to the RAF and Royal Navy. Station Commander Group Captain Nick Tucker-Lowe said: "I'm proud the Prince was able to meet some of our families, who do so much to support the station and its personnel."

The Prince presented a number of promotions and awards - a Royal Warrant, a Royal Canadian Air Force promotion to Major for an officer on an exchange instructor Prince of Wales Trophy to the best new flying instructor.

Some of the youngest personnel to meet the prince were pupils from the primary school just a stone's throw away from the base, Ysgol y Tywyn. Otto Salter, five, presented the prince with a drawing he'd made of the base. His mum, Charlotte, said: "Its made our day!" The Prince said: "Having been Honorary Air Commodore for many years now, I do remember just how much difference you make here to the all important training of fast jet pilots and how dependant we are to you as a team. I'd like to congratulate you all on what you do and thank you for all your efforts."

His final function was at Plas Cadnant Hidden Gardens near Menai Bridge, now restored after being destroyed in the Boxing Day storms of 2014.

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Publication:Daily Post (Conwy, Wales)
Article Type:Interview
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jul 15, 2017
Words:556
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