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Monday, 22 July 2013

Charles continues with official visit to York after Kate goes into labour


  • Prince of Wales to visit National Railway Museum and York Minster today
  • Says he has 'no news' after Duchess of Cambridge goes into labour
  • Unclear when he plans to return to London to meet his first grandchild
  • The Queen is at Windsor Castle and will travel today to Buckingham Palace
  • 'Very excited' Prince Harry is with helicopter squadron at RAF Wattisham
Prince Charles may be awaiting the birth of his first grandchild, but he has not been distracted from his duties after the Duchess of Cambridge went into labour this morning.
The Prince of Wales arrived in York for a visit to local landmarks, and he will later be joined by his wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall.
His son William is by Kate's side in the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital in Paddington, central London, where the couple drove when she went into labour shortly before 6am.
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Visit: While his daughter-in-law went into labour, Prince Charles tried out a steam train at the National Railway Museum in York
Visit: While his daughter-in-law went into labour, Prince Charles tried out a steam train at the National Railway Museum in York
Out and about: Prince Charles greeted crowds in York as he continued his official visit despite the impending birth of his first grandchild
Out and about: Prince Charles greeted crowds in York as he continued his official visit despite the impending birth of his first grandchild
Dedicated: The Prince was not distracted from his Royal duties by the news the Duchess of Cambridge had gone into labour
Dedicated: The Prince was not distracted from his Royal duties by the news the Duchess of Cambridge had gone into labour
Britain's Prince Charles arrives on the Bittern steam locomotive as he visits the National Railway Museum in York
The Prince of Wales during a visit to the National Railway Museum in York, to mark the 75th anniversary of the Mallard Locomotive
Tribute: The Prince of Wales was visiting the centre to mark the success of the Mallard Locomotive
Record: The Prince is the patron of celebrations to mark the 75th anniversary of the day the Mallard broke the world speed record when it reached 126mph on the East Coast Main Line in July 1938
Record: The Prince is the patron of celebrations to mark the 75th anniversary of the day the Mallard broke the world speed record when it reached 126mph on the East Coast Main Line in July 1938
But Charles is more than 200 miles away in the North of England, showing that not even the most exciting family drama can stop him carrying out his Royal duties.
He arrived at the National Railway Museum in York by steam train as he began a two-day visit to Yorkshire today.
The Prince stepped off the Royal Carriage through clouds of steam, to applause and cheers from the crowd.
The carriage was pulled into the museum by Bittern, the sister engine of Mallard, which marked 75 years as the world's fastest steam train earlier this month. 
 
As he alighted, he spoke to well-wishers who had turned out to welcome him.
Alex Dickinson and her sons, Thomas, seven, and Freddie, five, travelled from nearby Church Fenton to catch a glimpse of Charles.
She wished the Prince well with the birth of his grandchild as her children gave him a picture of a giraffe for the baby.
She said her son Freddie had said the royal baby was coming in six hours, to which Charles replied: 'Yes, it may well be.'
Asked by another bystander whether there was any news from the hospital, the Prince replied: 'Absolutely nothing at the moment - we're waiting.'
Tour: The Prince of Wales was shown the Doncaster-built Mallard and the museum's collection of royal carriages
Tour: The Prince of Wales was shown the Doncaster-built Mallard and the museum's collection of royal carriages
Engagements: Charles will visit several sites in central Yorkshire today before finishing with a reception for Prince's Trust supporters at Harewood House, near Leeds
Engagements: Charles will visit several sites in central Yorkshire today before finishing with a reception for Prince's Trust supporters at Harewood House, near Leeds
Prince Charles viewed the museum's collection of royal carriages
The Prince walked around the exhibits at the museum
Exhibits: The Prince of Wales was shown around the museum's collection of royal carriages 
Smiling: The Prince seemed happy and relaxed will looking around the museum's collection of trains
Smiling: The Prince seemed happy and relaxed will looking around the museum's collection of trains
On his visit Charles blew the whistle of the Doncaster-built Mallard, which broke the world record for steam when it reached 126mph on the East Coast Main Line in July 1938. It is now a permanent exhibit at the museum.
He met retired Mallard driver Bernard Bell, 89, who once transported the Queen on a royal visit when he was working as a fireman on another locomotive.
Mr Bell, from York, who drove Mallard, Bittern and similar engines for decades, said: 'He was very interested in the locomotives and he asked me all sorts of questions about my driving. It's the first time I've met him and he seemed very nice.'
Charles also looked round the museum's collection of royal carriages, including Queen Victoria's favourite carriage, King Edward's saloon and Queen Elizabeth's saloon, used by the Royal Family during the Second World War.
The visit is the first event of the tour of Yorkshire by the Prince, who will be joined by the Duchess of Cornwall tomorrow when he will visit rural communities before ending up in the seaside town of Bridlington.
Prince Charles
Queen Elizabeth II
On duty: Prince Charles, pictured in York today, and the Queen, pictured last week, are carrying out their schedules as normal despite the Duchess of Cambridge going into labour today
Couple: William and Kate drove to the hospital around 6am today to prepare for the birth of their child
Couple: William and Kate drove to the hospital around 6am today to prepare for the birth of their child
Hospital: Kate is in labour in the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital in Paddington, central London
Hospital: Kate is in labour in the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital in Paddington, central London
Scrum: The media has gathered outside the hospital awaiting the birth of the future monarch
Scrum: The media has gathered outside the hospital awaiting the birth of the future monarch
Charles has rarely commented publicly on the impending birth, but earlier this month he asked a women's group if they had any tips on being a good grandparent during to a trip to Kenfig in Wales.
One 74-year-old grandmother told him, 'Spoil them - enjoy it,' leading him to reminisce about happy memories of his own grandmother, the Queen Mother.
The Queen is closer in distance to William and Kate than Charles is, having spent the night at Windsor Castle, and has been kept informed about Kate's condition.
She is set to return to Buckingham Palace this afternoon.
Prince Harry is at RAF Wattisham in Suffolk, where he is based with his squadron of Apache helicopter pilots, and is said to be very excited about becoming an uncle for the first time.
The Earl of Wessex is currently in Devon.
Birth: Charles with Princess Diana and their newborn son William outside St Mary's in 1982
Birth: Charles with Princess Diana and their newborn son William outside St Mary's in 1982
The whereabouts of the other Royals is not known, but it is believed that William is the only relative to have joined Kate in hospital today.
Last week, the Queen suggested that she was keen to see the baby - her third great-grandchild - as soon as possible.
During a trip to the Lake District, 10-year-old Fay Batey asked Her Majesty whether she wanted the child to be a boy or a girl.
The Queen replied that she did not mind, but added: I would very much like it to arrive because I’m going on holiday soon... I wish it would hurry up.'
Her Majesty is apparently set to travel to her private Balmoral estate in Scotland for her summer holiday in the next few days.
The Duke of Cambridge, who has temporarily been off duty from his role as an RAF rescue pilot, will take two weeks of paternity leave after the birth.
DailyMail

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