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Prince Charles and Camilla embrace Belfast during visits to CS Lewis Square, Titanic and the Grand Opera House

A dame came face-to-face with a prince, while a snow queen met a future queen, as the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall soaked up the culture of Belfast on the second day of their whirlwind tour of Northern Ireland.

After starting their visit off in Cookstown on Tuesday, they visited CS Lewis Square in east Belfast with a Narnia-themed sculpture tour on Wednesday morning.

The Prince of Wales was then whisked off to the Grand Opera House to officially reopen the building after an extensive £12.2m restoration project, while the Duchess met staff from Libraries NI at the Holywood Arches facility, a Knit and Natter group and the library's book club.

Later, Camilla also visited Titanic Belfast ahead of its tenth birthday.

Charles unveiled a plaque in the renowned theatre while chatting to panto dame May McFettridge — who this year celebrates a record-breaking 32 years as the star of Grand Opera House pantomime — and broadcaster and comedian Tim McGarry.

Charles also spoke to those involved in the restoration project of the Grand Opera House’s historic auditorium, including lead conservator Ruth Bothwell and main contractor Consarc, as well as Tracey Brothers and interior designers Sundara Design.

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The four-day trip by the royal couple is part of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

The Queen, who this year is celebrating 70 years on the throne, was due to visit Northern Ireland last October but cancelled the trip on medical grounds.

During their tour of CS Lewis Square on Wednesday morning Prince Charles and Camilla were met by cheering crowds who gathered in the sunshine for a chance to meet the future king and queen consort.

A White Witch on stilts and a talented Mr Tumnus provided entertainment for them as they passed through the square before posing at the famous wardrobe statue and meeting some members of the public.

Belfast blogger Laura-Ann Barr handed a bunch of flowers to the Prince of Wales during his walkabout, who, after a sniff, realised he was fooled into thinking they were real.

“These are for yourself and Camilla,” she said. “I heard lily of the valley was Her Majesty the Queen’s favourite flower, so we brought them out for her Jubilee.”

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The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall during a public walkabout in CS Lewis Square, east Belfast on March 23rd, 2022 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall during a public walkabout in CS Lewis Square, east Belfast on March 23rd, 2022 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall during a public walkabout in CS Lewis Square, east Belfast on March 23rd, 2022 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall during a public walkabout in CS Lewis Square, east Belfast on March 23rd, 2022 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall during a public walkabout in CS Lewis Square, east Belfast on March 23rd, 2022 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall during a public walkabout in CS Lewis Square, east Belfast on March 23rd, 2022 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

The Prince of Wales speaks to members of the public during a tour of CS Lewis Square, Connswater Greenway, Belfast, and to visit the stalls along the Narnia-themed sculpture walk, which showcase East Side Partnership's community activities, on the second day of his two-day visit to Northern Ireland. Picture date: Wednesday March 23, 2022. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire

The Prince of Wales speaks to members of the public during a tour of CS Lewis Square, Connswater Greenway, Belfast, and to visit the stalls along the Narnia-themed sculpture walk, which showcase East Side Partnership's community activities, on the second day of his two-day visit to Northern Ireland. Picture date: Wednesday March 23, 2022. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire

PA

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall during a public walkabout in CS Lewis Square, east Belfast on March 23rd, 2022 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall during a public walkabout in CS Lewis Square, east Belfast on March 23rd, 2022 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall during a public walkabout in CS Lewis Square, east Belfast on March 23rd, 2022 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall during a public walkabout in CS Lewis Square, east Belfast on March 23rd, 2022 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall during a public walkabout in CS Lewis Square, east Belfast on March 23rd, 2022 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall during a public walkabout in CS Lewis Square, east Belfast on March 23rd, 2022 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall during a public walkabout in CS Lewis Square, east Belfast on March 23rd, 2022 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall during a public walkabout in CS Lewis Square, east Belfast on March 23rd, 2022 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall with a statue of CS Lewis and the wardrobe from the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe during a tour of CS Lewis Square, Connswater Greenway, Belfast, to visit the stalls along the Narnia-themed sculpture walk, which showcase East Side Partnership's community activities, on the second day of their two-day visit to Northern Ireland. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall with a statue of CS Lewis and the wardrobe from the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe during a tour of CS Lewis Square, Connswater Greenway, Belfast, to visit the stalls along the Narnia-themed sculpture walk, which showcase East Side Partnership's community activities, on the second day of their two-day visit to Northern Ireland. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire

PA

Members of the public wait for Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall at CS Lewis Square, Connswater Greenway, Belfast, to visit the stalls along the Narnia-themed sculpture walk, which showcase East Side Partnership's community activities, on the second day two their two-day visit to Northern Ireland. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Members of the public wait for Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall at CS Lewis Square, Connswater Greenway, Belfast, to visit the stalls along the Narnia-themed sculpture walk, which showcase East Side Partnership's community activities, on the second day two their two-day visit to Northern Ireland. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire

PA

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall meet Kate Nicholl, Lord Mayor of Belfast during a tour of CS Lewis Square, Connswater Greenway, Belfast, to visit the stalls along the Narnia-themed sculpture walk, which showcase East Side Partnership's community activities, on the second day two their two-day visit to Northern Ireland. Picture date:Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall meet Kate Nicholl, Lord Mayor of Belfast during a tour of CS Lewis Square, Connswater Greenway, Belfast, to visit the stalls along the Narnia-themed sculpture walk, which showcase East Side Partnership's community activities, on the second day two their two-day visit to Northern Ireland. Picture date:Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire

PA

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall meet Kate Nicholl, Lord Mayor of Belfast during a tour of CS Lewis Square, Connswater Greenway, Belfast, to visit the stalls along the Narnia-themed sculpture walk, which showcase East Side Partnership's community activities, on the second day two their two-day visit to Northern Ireland. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall meet Kate Nicholl, Lord Mayor of Belfast during a tour of CS Lewis Square, Connswater Greenway, Belfast, to visit the stalls along the Narnia-themed sculpture walk, which showcase East Side Partnership's community activities, on the second day two their two-day visit to Northern Ireland. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire

PA

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall during a tour of CS Lewis Square, Connswater Greenway, Belfast, to visit the stalls along the Narnia-themed sculpture walk, which showcase East Side Partnership's community activities, on the second day of their two-day visit to Northern Ireland. Photo:Niall Carson/PA Wire

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall during a tour of CS Lewis Square, Connswater Greenway, Belfast, to visit the stalls along the Narnia-themed sculpture walk, which showcase East Side Partnership's community activities, on the second day of their two-day visit to Northern Ireland. Photo:Niall Carson/PA Wire

PA

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall during a public walkabout in CS Lewis Square, east Belfast on March 23rd, 2022 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall during a public walkabout in CS Lewis Square, east Belfast on March 23rd, 2022 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall during a public walkabout in CS Lewis Square, east Belfast on March 23rd, 2022 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall during a public walkabout in CS Lewis Square, east Belfast on March 23rd, 2022 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

EMBARGOED UNTIL 1200 WEDNESDAY MARCH 23

The Prince of Wales speaks to members of the public during a tour of CS Lewis Square, Connswater Greenway, Belfast, and to visit the stalls along the Narnia-themed sculpture walk, which showcase East Side Partnership's community activities, on the second day of his two-day visit to Northern Ireland. Picture date: Wednesday March 23, 2022. PA Photo. See PA story ROYAL Charles. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire

EMBARGOED UNTIL 1200 WEDNESDAY MARCH 23 The Prince of Wales speaks to members of the public during a tour of CS Lewis Square, Connswater Greenway, Belfast, and to visit the stalls along the Narnia-themed sculpture walk, which showcase East Side Partnership's community activities, on the second day of his two-day visit to Northern Ireland. Picture date: Wednesday March 23, 2022. PA Photo. See PA story ROYAL Charles. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire

PA

EMBARGOED UNTIL 1200 WEDNESDAY MARCH 23

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall with a statue of CS Lewis and the wardrobe from the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe during a tour of CS Lewis Square, Connswater Greenway, Belfast, to visit the stalls along the Narnia-themed sculpture walk, which showcase East Side Partnership's community activities, on the second day of their two-day visit to Northern Ireland. Picture date: Wednesday March 23, 2022. PA Photo. See PA story ROYAL Charles. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire

EMBARGOED UNTIL 1200 WEDNESDAY MARCH 23 The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall with a statue of CS Lewis and the wardrobe from the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe during a tour of CS Lewis Square, Connswater Greenway, Belfast, to visit the stalls along the Narnia-themed sculpture walk, which showcase East Side Partnership's community activities, on the second day of their two-day visit to Northern Ireland. Picture date: Wednesday March 23, 2022. PA Photo. See PA story ROYAL Charles. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire

PA

Members of the public wait for Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall at CS Lewis Square, Connswater Greenway, Belfast, to visit the stalls along the Narnia-themed sculpture walk, which showcase East Side Partnership's community activities, on the second day two their two-day visit to Northern Ireland. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Members of the public wait for Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall at CS Lewis Square, Connswater Greenway, Belfast, to visit the stalls along the Narnia-themed sculpture walk, which showcase East Side Partnership's community activities, on the second day two their two-day visit to Northern Ireland. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire

PA

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall during a public walkabout in CS Lewis Square, east Belfast on March 23rd, 2022 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall during a public walkabout in CS Lewis Square, east Belfast on March 23rd, 2022 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Chief Executive of the Grand Opera House Belfast, Ian Wilson (left) and the Prince of Wales (centre) watch a short performance at the re-opening of the Grand Opera house, Belfast, on the second day of his two-day visit to Northern Ireland. Picture date: Wednesday March 23, 2022. PA Photo. See PA story ROYAL Charles. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Chief Executive of the Grand Opera House Belfast, Ian Wilson (left) and the Prince of Wales (centre) watch a short performance at the re-opening of the Grand Opera house, Belfast, on the second day of his two-day visit to Northern Ireland. Picture date: Wednesday March 23, 2022. PA Photo. See PA story ROYAL Charles. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire

PA

The Prince of Wales signs the visitors book at the re-opening of the Grand Opera house, Belfast, on the second day of his two-day visit to Northern Ireland. Picture date: Wednesday March 23, 2022. PA Photo. See PA story ROYAL Charles. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire

The Prince of Wales signs the visitors book at the re-opening of the Grand Opera house, Belfast, on the second day of his two-day visit to Northern Ireland. Picture date: Wednesday March 23, 2022. PA Photo. See PA story ROYAL Charles. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire

PA

The Prince of Wales watches a short performance at the re-opening of the Grand Opera house, Belfast, on the second day of their two-day visit to Northern Ireland. Picture date: Wednesday March 23, 2022. PA Photo. See PA story ROYAL Charles. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire

The Prince of Wales watches a short performance at the re-opening of the Grand Opera house, Belfast, on the second day of their two-day visit to Northern Ireland. Picture date: Wednesday March 23, 2022. PA Photo. See PA story ROYAL Charles. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire

PA

Chief Executive of the Grand Opera House Belfast, Ian Wilson (left) with the Prince of Wales and drag queen May McFettridge (right)  at the re-opening of the Grand Opera house, Belfast, on the second day of his two-day visit to Northern Ireland. Picture date: Wednesday March 23, 2022. PA Photo. See PA story ROYAL Charles. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Chief Executive of the Grand Opera House Belfast, Ian Wilson (left) with the Prince of Wales and drag queen May McFettridge (right) at the re-opening of the Grand Opera house, Belfast, on the second day of his two-day visit to Northern Ireland. Picture date: Wednesday March 23, 2022. PA Photo. See PA story ROYAL Charles. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire

PA

The Prince of Wales meets drag queen May McFettridge at the re-opening of the Grand Opera house, Belfast, on the second day of his two-day visit to Northern Ireland. Picture date: Wednesday March 23, 2022. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire

The Prince of Wales meets drag queen May McFettridge at the re-opening of the Grand Opera house, Belfast, on the second day of his two-day visit to Northern Ireland. Picture date: Wednesday March 23, 2022. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire

PA

The Prince of Wales (left) unveils a plaque at the re-opening of the Grand Opera house, Belfast, on the second day of his two-day visit to Northern Ireland. Picture date: Wednesday March 23, 2022. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire

The Prince of Wales (left) unveils a plaque at the re-opening of the Grand Opera house, Belfast, on the second day of his two-day visit to Northern Ireland. Picture date: Wednesday March 23, 2022. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire

PA

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The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall during a public walkabout in CS Lewis Square, east Belfast on March 23rd, 2022 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

After Charles had accepted and smelled the flowers, Ms Barr pointed out that they were artificial. He then laughed and replied: “Thank you. That was very kind.”

Presenter and comedian Ryan Hand said he was on his way to the gym when he noticed the crowds gather and managed to grab a selfie with the Prince of Wales.

“He shook my hand and we were chatting about the gym. He said that he takes it I don’t eat six chickens a day!”

Hand said this is his second royal interaction, after he interviewed Sarah Ferguson a few years ago for TV.

During the greetings with well-wishers, one Belfast woman asked Charles, “How’s your mummy keeping?” to which he replied: “She’s doing well, thank you.”

Violet Massey was there with friends Annie King and Valerie Duff, who are all from the local area.

Ms Massey said: “It is so wonderful to see our future king in person. When I asked him how his mother was, I asked would he tell her that we all in Belfast just love her and that we were asking about her and he said he would.”

Valerie Duff owns the Waakisa Ministries charity shop on the Holywood Road and revealed that when she heard Charles and Camilla would be making an appearance only a short distance away, she shut up shop and hot-footed it over to CS Lewis Square to catch a glimpse of the couple.

“We closed the shop and left all our stuff just to see them,” said Ms Duff. “Both of them came over and shook my hand. They were just so lovely.”

Annie King said that Camilla complimented her and Violet’s matching crown pins they were wearing for the occasion.

“It was just an honour for them to come over. You feel so much pride. They’re so down to earth too. They come down to your level.”

Ms Massey said she and Annie both visited London when the Queen Mother passed away and also for Princess Diana’s funeral.

“We have met the Queen at Stormont and seen Prince Charles on a few occasions, but have never met Camilla before and she is just lovely.”

The royal couple will spend the final two days of their trip to Ireland in Waterford and Tipperary.


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