Cheering crowds for royal couple at cathedral
Friendly spirits, a pretty spring posy and a perfect curtsey greeted Prince Charles and his wife the Duchess of Cornwall to Exeter Cathedral.
The posy and curtsey were courtesy of 11-year-old Exeter Cathedral schoolgirl Anne Hall, the warm welcome reinforced by a cheering crowd outside the West Front, clothed in 11 decks of scaffolding, wooden boards and blue netting.
The work in progress was a fitting symbol for a Prince attending a special thanksgiving service to celebrate the success of its £8 million fundraising appeal.
Many of the onlookers had gathered hours before the arrival of their royal highnesses.
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Those without tickets to the event, like Cynthia Hanson and her 86-year-old companion Michael Webb, waited outside.
"It is sad we couldn't get in but they turned us away," said Mrs Hanson. "I am a Friend of the Cathedral but there was no room for us but I am here to see the Prince of Wales as I have never seen him before so I am still happy."
Marion and David Marshall were luckier. They had tickets and as well as the Royal visitors were there to see and hear their grand-daughter Laura Kerr sing in the Exeter Cathedral School Choir.
Similarly, Jean and Douglas Bruce-Merrie, married 57 years ago just a few yards away in what was St Mary Major Church, had a special reason to be there.
A stone in the restored Ladies' Chapel was dedicated to Mrs Bruce-Merrie's mother, Phillipa Hutchinson, who had lived in Southernhay.
After a quick chat with the Bishop of Exeter, the Right Reverend Michael Langrish and the Dean, the Very Reverend Jonathan Draper, the Prince, patron of the fundraising Third Millennium Campaign, and the Duchess, who was wrapped up in a plumb coloured coat with fur hat, entered through the Great West door into the packed cathedral.
The Dean said: "We are really delighted that the Prince is here today. He has been a wonderful supporter of the cathedral.
"We have raised £8m over eight years during what has been a difficult time and we have had thousands of supporters. We want to thank every person who has helped and give thanks for every penny that has been raised."