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Pasty class for Charles and Camilla

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall have been given a masterclass in making a delicacy favoured in parts of Mexico - the Cornish pasty.

Charles and Camilla laughed their way though the cookery lesson as they began a four-day tour of Mexico.

The savoury treat was introduced to the Latin American nation in the 19th century by miners from Cornwall who also brought over football.

They settled in Real del Monte, working in silver mines, and the hilltop town is believed to have the only pasty museum in the world.

The first day of the royal visit coincided with the Day of the Dead, a colourful Mexican religious festival when people remember friends and family who have died by building shrines in their memory and visiting their graves.

Ghoulish female figures called Catrinas - skull-faced characters in elaborate gowns - who have come to symbolise the event welcomed the Prince and Duchess as they toured cultural displays in the town square.

During a visit to the pasty museum, the couple put on white aprons and showed off their efforts making the snacks, following the instructions of a group of chefs.

As they each took a circular piece of pastry, Charles asked cook Paulina Espinosa how much filling he should use and she told him as much as he could.

After they folded the pastry together to create the classic pasty shape they crimped the edges to seal it.

Charles laughed as he put his effort down on the metal work surface but Camilla spent longer perfecting hers and finally handed it over with a smile.

Ms Espinosa said: "I think they did great - you do have to practice how to seal it. I don't know if it's the first time they did it but I think they did a great job.

"And it looks like they had fun doing it, they really enjoyed themselves."

Earlier, Charles and Camilla visited a historic graveyard.

The town is more than 8,500ft (2,590m) above sea level and the trip up a steep hill to the cemetery left the Duchess a little short of breath so she paused to recover before entering.

Hundreds of well-wishers had filled the town's main square for an open-air homage to the Day of the Dead, which is a mixture of pre-Hispanic indigenous traditions and the Catholic celebration of All Saints and All Souls Days.

It is a major event in the Mexican calendar and a joyous time when death is seen as reminder to seize life and celebrate the positive memories of those who have died.

Charles and Camilla posed for pictures with women dressed as Catrinas - characters which originate from social satire prints that lampooned affected upper-class Mexican women, depicting them as skeletons, dressed in gowns with large ornate hats.

Before they left the town, the royal couple visited a secondary school and helped launch a project to build a new football pitch by each digging a spade full of earth.

The new pitch - towards which Charles has made a financial donation - is symbolic as the first game of football in Mexico was played near the town of Real del Monte.

Later the Prince and Duchess will receive an official welcome from Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto at the presidential palace in the capital, Mexico City.

And while Charles tours a unique agricultural area of Mexico know as "floating farms", Camilla will visit a safe house for victims of sex trafficking.


From Belfast Telegraph