Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall Visit Exeter Cathedral in First Post-Lockdown Royal Visit
The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall have visited Exeter Cathedral on the first stage of their summer tour of the South West.
The Royal visit was the first since lockdown restrictions eased and the Prince and Duchess were shown around the Cathedral by the Bishop of Exeter, the Right Reverend Robert Atwell, and the Dean, the Very Reverend Jonathan Greener.
Bishop Robert said, “It was a fantastic visit and special in all sorts of ways, which was reflected by the hundreds of people who came.
“He engaged really well with all sorts of people. He is hugely interested in our cathedral and its significance in terms of architecture and heritage and conservation.
“But he was also interested in the local community groups – it was wonderful seeing him and Camilla talking to people like the cathedral stonemasons and Prince of Wales nursing cadets.
“He was also concerned to hear how we had fared in Devon during the pandemic and how young people are experiencing things because it has been so challenging.”
The Cathedral bells were also rung as a full peal of 12 bells for the first time since March 2020.
“This is really marking a special day in the life of the Cathedral, the city and the diocese, it’s wonderful,” Bishop Robert said.
During the visit, Prince Charles, who is Patron of the Exeter Cathedral Development Appeal, was shown the Exeter Book, thought to be the world’s oldest surviving work of English literature.
The Appeal is designed to raise funds to conserve the cathedral’s important architecture and improve the visitor experience for future generations.
The royal couple also met some of Exeter Cathedral’s clergy, staff, volunteers, donors and supporters, as well as representatives from the Met Office (based in Exeter), the University of Exeter and Devon Nursing Cadets.
As they left, members of the nursing cadets and choristers from Exeter Cathedral School lined-up to form a guard of honour outside the Cathedral’s West entrance.
The Very Reverend Jonathan Greener, said “As a Cathedral, a city and a county, we have endured an incredibly challenging 16 months. So, to receive the first Royal visit since the easing of coronavirus restrictions is a wonderful way to lift the spirits of the whole community, and move forward in hope.”