Royal couple enjoy carriage ride

The Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, ride in a horse-drawn carriage on the Island of Sark

The Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, ride in a horse-drawn carriage on the Island of Sark

First published in National News © by

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall have stepped back in time by using a horse and carriage to travel on an island where cars are banned.

The royal couple visited the tiny Channel Island of Sark - population 600 - which is one of the few remaining places in the world which outlaws cars and where tractors, bikes and horses and carriages are used instead.

Charles and Camilla signalled their enjoyment of their short ride by horse and carriage by smiling broadly and patting the horse gently after disembarking. Camilla, wearing an Anna Valentine outfit of white pleated skirt and sand-coloured jacket, said: "You are a well-behaved horse."

The carriage, driven by islander Rossford de Carteret, was pulled by an Irish cob called Toby.

Mr de Carteret said: "It's an honour to have them on board. I've carried all the Royal Family, including the Queen three times, who come to the island since I've been doing it for 50-odd years. The last royal I had on board was the Princess Royal about five years ago."

The traditional mode of transport ferried them to La Seigneurie Gardens, reputed to be one of the finest formal walled gardens in the Channel Islands. Dating back to the 19th Century, they include a circular rose garden, a Victorian glasshouse, flower beds, a vegetable garden and a hedge maze.

Later, Charles and Camilla flew to Alderney and were chauffeured to the Island Hall where about 350 guests, including the local band, greeted them.

Inside, they viewed an exhibition of paintings and project work completed by the children of Ormer House School and St Anne's School for the Diamond Jubilee.

A stitched version of the missing section of the Bayeux Tapestry was also on show, and the royal couple were invited to add their own stitches to the creation.

A scroll was presented to them reaffirming Alderney's allegiance and loyalty to the Queen before Charles and Camilla planted a royal oak tree in the hall's grounds. The spade used for the planting was used by Princess Elizabeth to plant the Indian chestnut tree on her visit to the island on June 20 1949.

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