As part of the Diamond Jubilee Tour, to mark the 60th anniversary of Her Majesty’s accession, members of the Royal Family are travelling to all Commonwealth countries and yesterday (Thursday, April 27, 2012) The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall were welcomed to the Isle of Man.
During their visit The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall undertook a number of engagements focused around experiencing some of the unique heritage and sporting attractions the Isle of Man has to offer, as well as tasting some Isle of Man culinary delights. Cycling is an important and extremely popular sport on the Isle of Man not least because both Mark Cavendish, the ‘BBC Sports Personality of the Year’ and road race World Champion, and World Champion team pursuit cyclist, Peter Kennaugh were born on the Island. With this in mind, the first stop for Their Royal Highnesses was the National Sports Centre were they met the “Team Royal London 360 Isle of Man Cycling Club” and watched young people take part in an outdoor cycle race, before meeting World Champion cyclist Peter Kennaugh.
They then went on to meet local food producers at the House of Manannan heritage centre including the Apple Orphanage Co, Isle of Man Creamery and the Manx Loaghtan Producers, as well as attending the launch of the Isle of Man Food Park, touring a sustainable scallop processing facility. The royal party were also taken to see the crew of “Vital Spark”, a replica Viking longship which will take part in the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant. The Island has a strong Viking heritage and its parliament, Tynwald, was founded by Norse settlers more than one thousand years ago.
Commenting on the royal visit, the Chief Minister Allan Bell MHK said:
'It was a great honour to welcome The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall to the Isle of Man. This was The Prince of Wales third official visit to the Isle of Man. His Royal Highness’s last visit was for the Tynwald Day Ceremony in 2000 and the first time The Duchess of Cornwall has visited the Island. The Island has a distinctive heritage, a growing sporting elite and outstanding credentials in food production and it is good to see that the day’s schedule gave them the opportunity to experience this first hand. Given the Prince’s interest in food sustainability I am particularly pleased that he had a tour of the sustainable scallop processing facility. This is an area we are passionate about on the Isle of Man and The International Sustainability Unit (ISU), established by The Prince of Wales, has been working with the Isle of Man Scallop Fishery to highlight the benefits of a more sustainable approach to fishing. We very much hope they enjoyed their visit and look forward to watching the Vital Spark in the Queen’s Jubilee flotilla on Sunday 3rd June.'