Belfast Telegraph

Charles and Camilla hit the beach amid plastic pollution drive

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall joined schoolchildren clearing up plastic waste on Derrynane beach in Co Kerry.

The Duchess of Cornwall kicked off her shoes and felt the sand beneath her feet when she joined the Prince of Wales on an Irish beach to highlight the scourge of plastic pollution.

Camilla quickly removed her 2in heels when the couple walked onto Derrynane beach to hear about the work of local schoolchildren collecting waste from the shore.

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The Duchess of Cornwall walks barefoot on Derrynane beach (Niall Carson/PA)

Charles told his wife “you’ll get sand in your shoes” when she later slipped them back on her stocking feet.

Before getting into a helicopter, which had brought the royals to the stunning south-west Irish coastline, she could be seen shaking the sand from her footwear.

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Camilla and Charles underneath a portrait of Daniel O’Connell (Niall Carson/PA)

Nearby was the home of the celebrated 19th century campaigner Daniel O’Connell, who had championed Catholic emancipation and was a leading figure in the fight to abolish slavery.

The heir to his throne and his wife toured the mansion and met descendants of the lawyer and statesman whose beliefs have influenced successive world figures.

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A stuffed eagle was one of the more peculiar sights in Derrynane House in Co Kerry (Niall Carson/PA)

Rickard O’Connell, the campaigner’s great-great-great-grandson, said about the royal visit: “It means an awful lot. There have been periods when his legacy wasn’t as recognised or kept alive through different periods but I think more and more there’s a real recognition how relevant he is today.

“Things like anti-slavery, universal rights, talking about the suffrage movement celebrating their hundred years recently, he was one of the early proponents of a lot of those movements.

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The royal couple pass a pair of musicians (Niall Carson/PA)

“The peaceful element was critically what he was about.”

The beach-combing event featuring the schoolchildren was organised by Sea Synergy, a marine awareness body. It had collected an array of plastic objects from flip-flops and bottles to a salad pot from Macedonia, which they showed to the royals.

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The royal couple and Irish government minister Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran meet local schoolchildren taking part in a project to clear up about plastic pollution (Niall Carson/PA)

Charles and Camilla later went on a short walk across the sands and enjoyed the views across the small cove.

Sea Synergy founder Lucy Hunt said about Charles: “He said everywhere he goes he sees plastic and spends his life picking up plastic.

“He praised the work we do and said there needs to be more awareness.”

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