Cooling off! Charles and Camilla battle heavy rain as UK swelters on hottest day ever

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall are on a three-day tour of the West Country which kicked off yesterday. Earlier today as Camilla and Charles arrived in Launceston, the historic county town of Cornwall, a downpour unleashed.

While thermometers were rising to record levels in the South East, parts of the West Country experienced thunderstorms which cleared the air and briefly brought temperatures down.

Mayor Leighton Penhale was the first dignitary in line to meet the royal couple.

She joked with Camilla: “I think you’ve brought the rain with you.”

The future Queen Consort replied: “Sorry about that.”

Camilla carried a parasol against the burning sun on Monday, but she exchanged it for a see-through umbrella on Tuesday.

Charles had been ignoring the rain but, after a few minutes, he was handed an umbrella by an aide as he and his wife went on a walkabout.

It comes as the Met Office said UK temperatures have hit a record high with Charlwood in Surrey reaching a provisional 39.1C (102.4F) – beating the previous national record of 38.7C (101.7F) set in Cambridge in July 2019.

The town square was packed with well-wishers despite the heavy rain.

Charles and Camilla are touring the county and neighbouring Devon to mark 70 years since the Prince of Wales became the Duke of Cornwall on the Queen’s accession to the throne in 1952.

The Duchess appeared in an ITV documentary last week which followed her guest editorship of the latest edition of Country Life to mark her 75th birthday, and local Golda Heywood bellowed out “Camilla, good on you girl!”

She said afterwards: “I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed the documentary.

“Camilla told me to buy the magazine but I said I’d taped the documentary.”

Following their walkabout, the royal couple toured craft and market stalls in the town centre.

They stopped at the stall where Tracy and David Ledger were selling honey from their business Kings Orchard Produce.

Mrs Ledger said: “Camilla said she was a hands-on beekeeper and that her bees were doing quite well and she had only lost one colony over the winter.”

Before leaving, Charles and Camilla watched the world premiere of the Launceston dance parade performed by local children.

They also unveiled a plaque marking their visit, removing the black and white Cornish flag that covered it.

The Duchess looked typically elegant in a blue and black dress teamed with a trench coat for the engagement, while Charles was smart in a grey suit.

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