The Prince of Wales has spoken of his fascination with archaeology and history during a visit to a museum dedicated to one of the largest Roman settlements in Britain.
Prince Charles, 71, was at the recently opened Stone Age to Corinium Gallery at the Corinium Museum earlier today during a visit to Cirencester, Gloucestershire
The displays depict the story of life in the Cotswolds, from 40,000 years ago right up to the early Corinium era, including Bronze Age and Iron Age artefacts.
‘I am fascinated by all these things. First time I have visited,’ Charles said. ‘I never had a chance to see it before. I am fascinated by it.’
The Prince of Wales, 71, has spoken of his fascination with archaeology and history during a visit to a museum dedicated to one of the largest Roman settlements in Britain
Prince Charles was at the recently opened Stone Age to Corinium Gallery at the Corinium Museum in Cirencester, Gloucestershire
Earlier today, the Prince of Wales met with postal workers dressed in festive costumes today during a visit to the Royal Mail delivery office
He spent his first year at Trinity College, Cambridge, studying archaeology and physical and social anthropology. In his second year he switched to history.
The newly opened displays hold more than 600 objects and artefacts charting the Stone Age, Bronze Age, Iron Age through to early Roman times and the development of the town of Corinium.
Museum director Amanda Hart showed Charles some of the objects, including the Hazleton Long Barrow, the Beaker Burial and two early Roman-era military tombstones.
He also saw the Orpheus mosaic; the museum boasts the largest concentration of mosaics in the UK outside London.
During the visit, the royal spoke of his passion for archaeology and history, which he studied at university
During a tour of the medieval collection, the prince told staff about a pair of shoes he owned made from reindeer leather discovered in the wreck of the Danish vessel Catherina von Flensburg, which went down in a storm in 1786 off the coast of Plymouth.
‘I got a pair of shoes out of it. It was amazingly reindeer leather, remarkable quality,’ he added.
The shoes were made by New & Lingwood, a men’s shop in Jermyn Street, central London, which is thought to have donated a pair to the prince as the leather was found within the Duchy of Cornwall, his private estate.
Before leaving, he signed the guest book and was presented with a bottle of IV Bodicacia golden ale, brewed by Corinium Ales for the museum.
The royal appeared in remarkably high spirits as he visited the museum and spoke of his love for the topic
Speaking afterwards, Ms Hart said: ‘It was a really, really special moment for me and to have that opportunity to show His Royal Highness our collections and talk about our work here.
‘I have worked at the museum for over 20 years and to get that moment was really special for me.
‘He made me feel really at ease and he was laughing and joking and had a genuine interest about the collections, the archaeology and the history of the area.’
Ms Hart described the last year as ‘really difficult’ for the museum, which required emergency funding because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Staff at the museum said Prince Charles was ‘laughing and joking’ with a clear ‘genuine interest about the collections’
‘We are not over it either, and I can see this continuing well into next year,’ she said.
‘It’s really imperative we get the message out that we are a Covid-19-safe environment and people need to visit, and if people don’t come through the doors we will remain at risk.’
Earlier today he appeared in high spirits today as he met with postal workers dressed in festive costumes while visiting a Royal Mail office.
The Prince of Wales wore a turquoise face covering as he made the visit to the delivery office in Cirencester to meet with staff about their efforts during the Covid-19 crisis in the run-up to Christmas.
The royal could be seen exploring various exhibitions at the museum, and appeared attentive as staff spoke to him about the works
The Prince of Wales during a visit to the Corinium Museum to view their interactive galleries depicting the story of the life in the Cotswolds from 40,000 years ago
The royal was seen chatting with staff throughout the facility, taking a moment to speak with one worker who was dressed as Santa Claus, and another who was wearing an elf costume.
His visit comes days after Royal Mail and leading retailers admitted to worrying delays, leaving shoppers facing Christmas delivery mayhem.
Prince Charles appeared in good spirits as he donned a smart grey suit and matched his blue face covering with his tie for the appearance.
Over the weekend, Royal Mail acknowledged delays in its services due to ‘exceptionally high volumes’.
It also blamed the longer delivery times on social distancing rules in place in local mail centres and delivery offices.
A shift to online shopping means there are 200million more parcels in the postal and courier system this year.
Prince Charles, who appeared in high spirits during the visit, opted to wear his turquoise face covering for the occasion
At one stage the royal could be seen laughing enthusiastically as he met with members of staff at the postal office
Royal Mail has taken on 33,000 seasonal workers, while Amazon UK has recruited 20,000 staff, Hermes 13,000 and Yodel, 3,000.
The royal’s visit comes after a body language expert said the royal’s Christmas photo showed a ‘quietly intimate’ moment for the couple.
In the charming new photograph, which was taken in the early autumn by a member of the royal staff, the Prince of Wales could be seen with his arm around Camilla, as they share a laugh in the beautiful gardens of their Scottish home of Birkhall.
Speaking to FEMAIL, body language expert Judi James said the snap shows the royal couple relaxing in a ‘retirement pose’ and ‘locked in a bubble of their own mutual affection.’
Prince Charles visited the Royal Mail in Cirencester to recognise the vital public services that the countrys postal workers provide, especially during the coronavirus pandemic and in the run-up to Christmas
The royal met with staff members during his tour of the organisation earlier today and heard about their social distancing efforts
The Prince of Wales was offered a tour of the facility, where he spoke with staff about their work during the Covid-19 crisis
She said Charles ‘wanted to signal he has finally found a sense of peace’, while Camilla took on more of a ‘protector’ role and appeared ‘more confident’ in the photo.
Where will the royal family spend Christmas?
Charles and Camilla: Understood to be spending it alone at their home of Highgrove but will see Queen and Phillip ‘at some point’ during the holidays.
They will also see Camilla’s children Tom Parker Bowles and Laura Lopes at some point.
Prince William and Kate Middleton: Could spend Christmas at Anmer Hall, Norfolk or with the Middletons in Berkshire.
The Wessexes: Prince Edward and Sophie are likely to spend Christmas at their home of Bagshot Park in Surrey.
The Yorks: Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson are likely to spend Christmas with Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice, as well as their husbands Jack Brooksbank and Edo Mapelli Mozzi. They may spend Christmas at the Royal Lodge in Windsor.
Princess Anne: The Princess Royal may spend Christmas with her children Zara Tindall, who is expecting her third child, and Peter Philips and their families on their estate of Gatcombe.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle: The Sussexes are spending Christmas in California.
Prince Charles and Camilla opted for a candid shot for their festive card, with the Duchess seen in jeans, a pink shirt and a black blazer.
Meanwhile, the Prince of Wales also looked relaxed in an open collared shirt with a pair of light chinos and a beige blazer.
They have spent much of the year at their Scottish residence, choosing to spend the first lockdown at their home in Aberdeenshire and returning for a summer break.
Like the Queen, who is isolating at Windsor Castle, they have operated throughout the year with a reduced household.
They enjoyed spending the first lockdown at Birkhall but their stay attracted criticism from some SNP politicians because Charles was revealed to have developed coronavirus symptoms soon after arriving.
Sources were keen to stress that he did not know he had the virus when they travelled there.
Meanwhile they also enjoyed an extended break in Balmoral over the late summer months.
The pair began their annual holiday to Scotland in early August, with Prince Charles reportedly extending his trip seven days longer than planned so he can continue to pursue one of his favourite hobbies.
Taking to Twitter at the time, royal photographer royal Tim Rooke claimed a local told him Charles ‘has decided to stay up for an extra week because the fishing is so good’.
Fly fishing is a favoured pastime of several members of the royal family, with the late Queen mother a fan of the sport, while Prince Philip has also been known to take part in the activity while at Balmoral.
Charles inherited Birkhall from his beloved grandmother, the Queen Mother, upon her death in 2002 and now enjoys spending summers at the residence with his wife the Duchess of Cornwall.
The beautiful gardens are a particular source of joy for the famously green-fingered prince who has described the garden as a ‘special place’ to him personally.
Prince Charles appeared in high spirits as he met with postal staff and was offered a tour of the facility
At one stage the royal spoke with staff members as he peaked through a dispatch window at the post office
Last year, the couple chose a picture of their visit to Cuba as they drove through Havana in a vintage British 1953 black MG TD, with the first in line to the throne taking the wheel, while his wife waves to the crowds.
The photo, which sees them both wearing sunglasses as they arrived at Cuban capital’s famous John Lennon Park earlier this year, was taken during their tour of the island March 2019.
The unveiling of the festive photographs comes as the royal family prepares for Christmas after their traditional festive celebration was cancelled.
Her Majesty, 94, and Prince Philip, 99, traditionally spend the festive season with close family on their Norfolk estate.
The royal donned a face covering as he spoke with a member of staff wearing a Santa Claus costume
Meanwhile he appeared to share a laugh with a member of staff dressed up as Santa Claus during the visit today
But it was announced last week that this year they will forgo the festivities and remain at Windsor Castle, where they have been isolating with a ‘bubble’ of staff since October due to the ongoing pandemic.
It means the couple face spending Christmas Day without any of their four children for the first time since 1949, when the then Princess Elizabeth left a one-year-old Charles in the UK so she could be with Prince Philip in Malta.
Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall will spend Christmas at Highgrove, in Gloucestershire, although they expect to see the Queen and Prince Philip at Windsor at some point over the festive season. Camilla will also spend time with her family.
In Tier 2 regions, like Windsor, up to six people from different households are able to mix outdoors. This means the Queen and Prince Philip could meet with family members for horse riding or walks in the grounds of Windsor Castle.