The Duke and Duchess of Cornwall gave a sun-bathed Lache the royal seal of approval on their visit to Chester.

Lache Primary School and the adjoining Lache Integrated Early Support Centre took centre stage as the first stop on the royal couple’s packed itinerary, which also saw them officially open the Countess of Chester Country Park and the Cathedral at Height attraction at Chester Cathedral.

The air was thick with excitement prior to the Earl and Countess of Chester’s arrival, with onlookers travelling from as far as Wrexham to catch a glimpse of them.

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Lache local Jean Tarbuck, of Oak Road, told the Chronicle she had turned out to see Camilla, as she’d seen a fair few of the royal family already, including the Queen.

“I just feel the need to see a new member of the family,” she said.

“I just love the royals. All the pomp and pageantry make you feel so proud to be British.”

Self-confessed royalists Brian and Julia Swarbrick, from Higher Kinnerton, said: “We are just here to support the heir to the throne.”

Waved in by spectators and Union Jack-toting pupils from nearby St Clare’s Catholic Primary School, the royals arrived at Lache Primary School shortly before noon to a rendition of When the Saints Go Marching In by their steel band.

The Duchess was presented with a posy of flowers by seven-year-old Darcy, chosen because of her keen interest in the royal family.

The tour of the Hawthorn Road school began with a taster of community interest company Passion for Learning’s invaluable work developing children’s relationships with reading.

Camilla made herself at home on a pint-sized children’s chair and was given a reading masterclass by pupil Casey, helping him sound out tricky words like hyena.

Prince Charles spoke to project volunteers, of which there are 30 at Lache Primary School alone, and youngsters benefiting from the partnership.

Diane Clark, managing director of Passion for Learning, said the VIP guests were ‘delightful’.

“They really gave the impression they wanted to be there and put the children at ease.”

The royal couple were then introduced to some special members of the school community - Little Red Hen, Chicken Licken and Tigger.

Early years manager Jan Sproston and Year 3 pupils Aaron and Mischa answered all their questions about the operation of the chicken coop, and Aaron was particularly impressed with the ‘beautiful’ Duke and Duchess ‘very nice clothes and very nice voices’.

The Earl joked that he thought fame was 'awful' when he met seven-year-olds studying what it means to be famous.

After being treated to an all-singing, all-dancing performance of Revolting Children from Matilda the Musical by the school's Glee Club, the couple were whisked on to the ground-breaking support centre, formerly Lache and Handbridge Children’s Centre, which the Prince of Wales opened as a youth club some 43 years ago.

The Lache Integrated Early Support Centre has helped to cut 24% of referrals to social services. Launched last October, the innovative Integrated Early Support (IES) has already shifted demand from social care to early support through timely multi-disciplinary problem identification, assessment and intervention.

The royal couple showed no fear of getting dirty when they met with mums and babies indulging in a spot of messy play in the centre’s Diddy Den.

Early years worker Robyn Frost said: “They were really nice and made us feel so relaxed. I loved that they took the time to talk to everyone in the room.”

The Duchess of Cornwall chatted with 26-year-old Becky Massey, who was cradling her six-week-old bundle of joy Piper, about her involvement with the centre.

Mum-of-two Becky recently completed an ‘invaluable’ domestic violence course at the centre, having been in an abusive relationship, and praised the support she receives there.

The royal visitors saw and experienced a variety of the skills and classes offered to local families, including a healthy eating class.

The Prince of Wales even enthusiastically accepted a taste of the rosemary focaccia and parmesan crisps the service users had prepared for them.

The visit culminated with the unveiling of a commemorative plaque, which stands near a similar plaque marking the opening of the youth club by Prince Charles on February 5, 1971.

Nearby was a display of pictures of the event featuring snaps of a very young Prince Charles meeting a youth club member resplendent in a trilby hat.

Local builder Geoff Lockett, 58, was introduced to Prince Charles as the 16-year-old teenager in the picture. Both agreed that they had aged well.

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