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Prince Charles and Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, visit oyster festival in Whitstable and Historic Dockyard Chatham today

By KentOnline reporter
Prince Charles and The Duchess of Cornwall join Samba Pelo Mar on stage in Whitstable. Picture: Gary Browne

Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall showed they have rhythm today - by joining a samba band on stage in Whitstable.

The royal couple started a tour of the county at the Whitstable Oyster Festival - and even banged drums with group Samba Pelo Mar.

Musical director Ann Day said: "They were both very chatty and relaxed and up for enjoying themselves and joining in.

"I gave them two beaters and got the crowd to join in. They did really well and have certainly got potential."

Thousands of well-wishers turned out for one of the prince's first public engagements since the birth of his first grandson, Prince George.

He and his wife met local fishermen and business owners at the Whitstable Harbour.

And the future king even tried an oyster at West Whelks - before "wiping his mouth with satisfaction".

A cake for the royal couple - decorated by the KM Group - was presented to Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, by local children.

It is one of three stops in Kent today: the couple are also this afternoon visiting the Prince's Trust Centre in Chatham to meet unemployed people getting help from the charity's Fairbridge programme, and the Historic Dockyard Chatham.

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The Duchess of Cornwall on a visit to Kent with Prince Charles. Picture: Chris Davey
Prince Charles meets Whitstable lifeboat crew members Dave Parry and Richard Judge. Picture: Chris Davey
Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall greets crowds at the Whitstable Oyster Festival

During the first stage of the tour, the royal couple stopped to listen to samba band Samba Pelo Mar at the oyster festival at about 11am.

Their Royal Highnesses also met 84-year-old Derek West, of a long-standing seafood fishing family.

Prince Charles eyes an oyster at West's Welks in Whitstable. Picture: Gary Browne
Closing his eyes, Prince Charles tastes an oyster at West's Welks. Picture: Gary Browne
Down in one! Prince Charles eats an oyster in Whitstable. Picture: Gary Browne

They also shared jokes with lifeboat volunteers when they toured the RNLI Whitstable Station, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary.

As part of the visit, the couple also viewed traditional oyster festival activities, such as crabbing and building oyster shell sandcastles, known as grotters.

Video: Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, in Whitstable

The pair then moved on to Medway, where they are touring the local Prince's Trust branch, before taking in the Chatham Historic Dockyard.

The venue is run by the Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust, which is a charity set up in 1984 after the royal dockyard closed.

Their first port of call was to meet young people aged 13 to 25. who have been supported by The Prince's Trust Fairbridge programme, which is based at the Dockyard.

Prince Charles spoke to youngsters taking part in summer sessions offering advice and inspiration on the next steps after taking exams, while The Duchess of Cornwall met unemployed young people taking part in a money management session.

Prince Charles meets RNLI volunteers

Their Royal Highnesses then joined young people as they participated in an improvised music session and put on a short performance.

The Prince of Wales was then shown the Hearts of Oak exhibition, which opened earlier this year and the archaeological remains of HMS Namur.

The ship's timbers were discovered beneath the floor of the Wheelwrights' Shop in 1995 and are being turned into a permanent exhibition.

While Prince Charles was being given a short tour and met with volunteers and staff, The Duchess of Cornwall visited the Railway Workshop to meet young children taking part a school holiday workshops.

Prince Charles views the remains of HMS Namur
Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall sign the visitors' book at Chatham Historic Dockyard

The royal couple then both visited the No.1 Smithery gallery, which opened in 2010. Prince Charles was patron of the restoration project which transformed the old smithery into an exhibition space which op.

There was just enough time for Camilla to view the photographic exhibition Exploring Antarctica: The Final Expeditions of Scott and Shackleton.

At the end of the visit, they both unveiled a plaque to commemorate the day and Prince Charles was presented with a swing for his new grandson.

It was made at the Dockyard using timbers from the Victorian sloop HMS Gannet and rope from the ropery.

Video: Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall in Chatham

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