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Home   Maidstone   News   Article

Yalding teenager Joseph Wilson poses for selfie with Prince Charles as he visits village after devastating floods

19 March 2014
by James Walker

A cheeky teenager has persuaded Prince Charles to pose for a selfie with him on a visit to flood-hit Yalding today.

Joseph Wilson, of Oast Court, was dared by his friends to take the mobile phone snap with the future monarch, who "chuckled to himself".

The 17-year-old, who was invited to meet the first in line to the throne after rescuing several people in his canoe, said the prince was "cool with it".

Teenager Joseph Wilson poses for a selfie with Prince Charles

Teenager Joseph Wilson poses for a selfie with Prince Charles

Earlier this month, actress Joan Collins told how she failed to convince the Prince to pose for a star-studded selfie with celebrities including Sir Ben Kingsley, Jeremy Irons and Tess Daly.

But Joseph said: "He just congratulated us on our role in the floods and thanked us for being so helpful to everyone.

"He talked about how it's really good to have organisations like the Sea Scouts and the Cadets to encourage people to learn these skills, which can prove invaluable if the situation demands it.

"And then I asked him for a photo. He took it very well. He chuckled to himself and then I took the photo and he just started laughing. He was cool with it.

"I need to show my friends because they dared me to take the photo, so it's proof I don't back out of a dare."

Teenager Joseph Wilson posing for a selfie on his mobile phone with Prince Charles. Picture Martin Apps

Teenager Joseph Wilson posing for a selfie on his mobile phone with Prince Charles. Picture: Martin Apps

Prince Charles laughs after posing for a selfie with teenager Joseph Wilson, pictured left. Picture Martin Apps

Prince Charles laughs after posing for a selfie with teenager Joseph Wilson, pictured left. Picture: Martin Apps

Prince Charles and his wife Camilla visited the village devastated by the worst flooding in decades this morning.

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall met residents affected by the disaster at St Peter's and St Paul's Church in the High Street.

Homes are still lying empty and undergoing refurbishment after the river broke its banks on Christmas Eve, causing widespread damage.

Joseph and his sister Laura were among those who, along with their father, rescued a total of 19 stricken residents.

They used a canoe to ferry stranded neighbours and their pets to safety when the village became submerged on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Prince Charles meets the crowds lining the streets of Yalding today

Prince Charles meets the crowds lining the streets of Yalding today

Joseph said: "When the village was flooded, I went out with my dad and we were rescuing people out of their houses.

"We got a phone call from one of my dad's friends asking if he could be rescued. We went down in a boat, got him out and took him back to our house. We could paddle all the way back from his house to our house because it was so flooded.

"But when we got there we realised loads of people had stayed in their houses overnight and were stranded.

"So we took back two boats and started getting people out of their houses to safety."

Rescuer Joseph Wilson, bottom right, with sister Laura and (back row) Symon Wilson, John Lengthorn and Nick Davies

Rescuer Joseph Wilson, bottom right, with sister Laura and (back row) Symon Wilson, John Lengthorn and Nick Davies

Last month, survival expert Bear Grylls named members of Yalding Scout Group his heroes of the year.

The organisation's chief Scout, who is famed for the Born Survivor TV series, praised the group following their efforts when the village was struck by severe flooding.

Mr Grylls said: "When all that horrific flooding was taking place, what were they doing?

"They were out there, in their canoes, saving lives, helping people and making a difference. That's what makes them my Scouting heroes."

The Duchess of Cornwall is presented with flowers by children in Yalding as she arrives with Prince Charles

The Duchess of Cornwall is presented with flowers by children in Yalding as she arrives with Prince Charles

The Duchess of Cornwall with flowers given to her by children in Yalding

The Duchess of Cornwall with flowers given to her by children in Yalding

Their Royal Highnesses met local business owners to hear how the floods have affected them, as well as Community Resilience, which were sent to help small enterprise owners two days after the floods.
 
The group is associated with the Business Emergency Recovery Group at Business in the Community, one of the Prince's charities.

Residents lined the streets to greet their royal guests today - including children from Twyford Preschool and Yalding Primary. 

The royal couple spent time among the throng, Prince Charles even managed to raise a laugh by asking the owner of Zarda Indian restaurant if his curries were "hot enough to blow your head off".
 
David Cameron meets Yalding villagers during a visit to flood-hit sites

David Cameron meets Yalding villagers during a visit to flood-hit sites

Flooding at Yalding

Flooding at Yalding

Yalding flooded heavily over the Christmas period

Yalding flooded heavily over the Christmas period

 
The royals also visited the owners of Orchard View Classic Garage, which specialises in restoring classic cars, some of which were flooded and are now undergoing a specialist drying process.
 
They also met a local beekeeper, whose 16 hives were swept away, and the owners of Teapot Island, whose museum houses more than 6,000 teapots.
 

Royal visit

HRH Prince Charles and HRH The Duchess of Cornwall on a visit to Yalding on Wednesday, March 19.

Click to view

HRH The Duchess of Cornwall meets with services that helped during the floods. Pupils from Yalding Primary School wait to greet the royals. HRH The Prince of Wales meets Mark Newman of Orchard View garage. from left, HRH The Duchess of Cornwall chats with Joanne Wheaton, control crew manager for Kent Fire & Rescue Service. HRH Prince of Wales meets with Maidstone and Weald MP Helen Grant HRH Prince of Wales meets KCC Leader Eric Hotson Children from Twyford Pre-school await the royal arrival. TRHs go walkabout among the crowds at Yalding. HRH The Prince of Wales meets villagers outside the church. Prince Charles laughs after posing for a selfie with teenager Joseph Wilson, pictured left. Picture: Martin Apps Prince Charles is greeted by the waiting crowds at Yalding. Picture: Martin Apps The Prince of Wales is presented with a teapot depicting the Queen on one side and Queen Victoria on the other. Picture: Martin Apps Left to right: Keith Blazye with TRHs The Duchess of Cornwal and Prince Charles, Susan Blazye and Luke Blazye at Teapot Island. Geraldine Brown, chairman of Yalding Parish Council, with two famous signatures in the guest book. The Duchess of Cornwall arrives at St Peter and St Paul's Church in Yalding.
 

 

 
It is less than a year since Prince Charles and Camilla visited Kent. Last July, they toured Whitstable and visited the Historic Dockyard at Chatham. 

Prime Minister David Cameron is among the high profile visitors who have visited the village since the floods.


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