Crowds of people lined St Werburgh Street to catch a glimpse of the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall as they arrived at Chester Cathedral for the second leg of their city trip on Friday morning.

There were cheers of delight from excited onlookers as the couple, met by Vice Dean Peter Howell-Jones, walked inside, stopping to speak to many of the spectators as they did so.

Once inside, they were given a tour of the cathedral’s highlights by Heritage Officer Nick Fry, who showed them the mosaics in the North Transept, the 16th century Consistory Court and the 11th century Norman columns.

They paused in the building’s 14th century Quire Stalls to hear the Cathedral Choir sing Hear My Words by Parry before being treated to an excerpt from the 2013 Chester Mystery Plays in the Chapter House.

Jo Sykes, chairman of the Mystery Plays, who spoke to Prince Charles after the performance, told The Chronicle: “I told him I was sorry they couldn’t come and see the performance last time and he told me how nice it was that they got to see it at last.

“Then he asked when the next Mystery Plays would be and I told him it’d be 2018 so hopefully they will be able to come and see us again. I was pleased with the performance, it went very well.”

Afterwards, the Prince of Wales visited the cathedral’s Military Chapel with the Lord Lieutenant of Cheshire, David Briggs, and was introduced to a group of servicemen and women from the Cheshire Regiment, while Camilla paid a special visit to the Children’s Chapel where pupils from Upton Heath C of E Primary School were busy making mosaics to display on banners in the chapel.

The lucky few attended a workshop at the cathedral during the summer designing the banners, and were presented to the Duchess of Cornwall by the cathedral’s Canon Chancellor Jane Brooke, who oversees the cathedral’s education.

She said: “How very exciting today has been - it’s lovely the Royals are coming to us when they have so much to do. They have made a lot of effort and we’re very happy and excited to welcome them.”

Pupil Samuel Collins, 10, said: “Camilla was very nice and asked what our favourite part of the art was, I said making the mosaics because they were fun.”

Classmate Sophie Joyce, also 10, added: “I thought she was very posh because she talked posh, and looked nice - she asked what we were doing and whether we come to the cathedral often. I was very excited but also a bit nervous.”

Headteacher Paula Moreton added: “It’s not the first time the children have met members of the Royal family - when The Queen visited Chester Zoo in 2012, some of them were in the choir that sang for her. Nevertheless, it’s very exciting for all of us to meet the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and it’s lovely the kids are representing Upton Primary. They are so excited and privileged to be able say they’ve met the Queen and Charles and Camilla!”

After this the Royal couple then moved on to meeting the team responsible for the development of the Cathedral at Height visitor attraction which was opened to the public in April this year, and officially unveiled a plaque that is to be installed at the entrance to the tower.

The visit concluded with a look around the Garth, a central garden at the heart of the building, where The Duke and Duchess were introduced to the cathedral’s Custos Hortorum Phil Hunt, who is in charge of the gardens, and cathedral falconer Tom McNally and his four-year-old golden eagle - who gave a special demonstration to Prince Charles.

Vice Dean, Canon Peter Howell-Jones, said after the visit: “It was wonderful to welcome The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall to Chester Cathedral.

“We were very pleased to have the opportunity to talk to the royal couple about our recent achievements and our future plans for the building and the wider estate.

“We believe our cathedral is a fascinating place that has many interesting stories to tell – and we very much hope they thought so too.”

Heritage officer Nick Fry added: “They were both extremely nice and very pleasant - I almost wondered why I was so nervous because it was like greeting two old friends.”

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