Belfast Telegraph

Charles meets longest-lasting milkman in the west at Palace garden party

Martin Court has never missed a day’s work in Monmouthshire in 50 years.

The Prince of Wales has hailed a milkman who has not missed a morning round for 50 years at a Buckingham Palace party.

In order not to ruin the unbroken run, dedicated Martin Court dashed from his delivery in Wales to make it to London on Tuesday in his first trip to the capital.

Mr Court, 69, said he first entered the trade at 18 and had worked seven days a week every day of the year, bar Christmas, ever since – and has no plans to retire.

“I’ve worked for 50 years, I’ve never had a holiday, I’ve never been anywhere,” Mr Court said he told customers in the Llanover private estate in Monmouthshire.

“The next thing you know, I had a letter from the Queen inviting me to the garden party. We were absolutely shocked.”

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The Prince of Wales, Duchess of Cornwall and the Princess Royal attend a Royal Garden Party at Buckingham Palace (John Stilwell/PA)

Mr Court drove from Abergavenny with his wife Pauline, 61, after rising at 3.30am for his round to make the palace garden party, attended by around 8,000 members of the public invited for their service to society.

He said he discussed recycling with Charles, who was “very interested” to hear people are returning containers to the milkman after being outraged at plastic waste blighting the oceans.

Also among the crowd was Karen Gibson, the Kingdom Choir conductor praised for her performance at the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s wedding.

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The Prince of Wales meets Kingdom Choir conductor Karen Gibson and her mother (John Stilwell/PA)

After meeting the Duchess of Cornwall alongside her mother Nathalie Gibson, the musician said Camilla described the performance as “absolutely brilliant”.

“It’s been a bit crazy (since the wedding). Being recognised in the street is really odd,” Ms Gibson said.

“I thought we were singing for Prince Harry and Meghan but the seems like we were singing for everyone.”

Also on the palace lawn was Catherine Waters-Clark, the chief executive of Inspero, an organisation which promotes healthy eating through food growing.

She said Charles, a vocal supporter of green causes, joked they should grow food on one of the many roundabouts in Basingstoke, Hampshire.

A 72-year-old gymnastics and parkour teacher, Priscilla Stirling, was also met by Charles, who she said was not familiar with the act, also known as freerunning.

The British Gymnastics trainer, from Ballyclare in Northern Ireland, said it was a “thrill” to meet the prince.

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