The Duchess of Cornwall was in Sheffield with memories of the William and Kate royal wedding celebrations fresh in the mind.
Her itinerary started at Emmaus Primary, a joint Catholic and Church of England faith school on the Wybourn estate, where the bunting was still up.
Headteacher Huw Thomas said: “We couldn’t have asked for better timing, with the royal wedding last Friday and then our own event today. The children watched the wedding Friday, saw the Duchess arrive at the Abbey, then today they see her in person. It also meant we could keep the flags up for a few more days!”
FIVE days after mixing with the great and the good at the royal wedding, the Duchess of Cornwall was in Sheffield with an itinerary that included meeting some of the city’s homeless men and women.
Camilla visited at a charity shop run by Emmaus UK in Cadman Street, Attercliffe, part of a project that offers accommodation and work in a supportive environment, meeting volunteers and the ‘companions’ who use the facilities.
One of them asked her what she bought Prince William for a wedding gift, to be told that it was “ a bit of wildlife”, without elaborating.
Martin Davies, who chairs Emmaus, said: “It was an honour to have such a visit because the duchess is our patron.
“It’s very nice that with a busy schedule she took time out to come and talk to the staff and companions about the issues of homelessness and about the strains that homelessness brings, particularly for young people.”
The royal guest clearly had an eye for a bargain, picking up two small teapots for 50p each.
She started her day in Sheffield at Emmaus Primary on the Wybourn estate, one of the first in the country to be a joint Catholic and Church of England faith school. The school has 310 children – a quarter from ethnic minority groups.
The duchess met staff, pupils and student volunteers from Sheffield University’s linguistics society who run an after-school literacy and language project called Word Club.
Children gave an energetic and word-perfect performance of We’re Going On A Bear Hunt – described by the duchess as “brilliant” – and there was a performance by the university’s Hip Hop Dance Society.
Headteacher Huw Thomas said: “As well as being a great way of celebrating the school’s achievements, this visit is recognition of the effective partnership the school has made with our university.”
It was on to the Northern General Hospital where Camilla opened the £2m Centre for Biomedical Research, meeting world-renowned experts in the treatment of osteoporosis and cardiac conditions.
She is president of the National Osteoporosis Society, her mother having died of the disease in 1997.
The centre is the result of a partnership between Sheffield Teaching Hospitals and the University of Sheffield.
Her final stop was at the Fox Hill and Parson Cross Advice Service in Wordsworth Avenue, which provides free, impartial and confidential advice on welfare benefit, housing, debt, consumer and employment issues.
This year alone, the service dealt with more than 2,000 clients and brought in £1.8m in unclaimed benefit and debt write-offs.
Volunteers are provided with free training to become qualified advisers.