Hundreds of people lined the streets of Llantwit Major on 1st July 2014 to welcome HRH The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall on their visit to the Galilee Chapel.
The Royal visitors chatted to members of the public, including flag waving school children, as they walked from the town Square to St Illtud’s Church in brilliant sunshine on the second day of their Welsh summer visit.
They were greeted at the church by the Rector of Llantwit Major, the Revd Huw Butler, who gave a brief introduction to the Galilee Chapel Project.
During the visit, the Prince and Duchess met several of the parishioners, local schoolchildren and those involved with the project. They included:
- Parishioner Gladys Kilby, 94, the oldest member of the church who cut the ribbon to officially open the chapel during a celebration weekend last November.
- Lee Mayes, the Construction Site Manager, who enjoyed working on the church renovation project so much that he had a lasting reminder tattooed on his arm – in the form of Celtic crosses.
Mr Butler said, “History was made today because as far as we know this is the first ever Royal visit to this church. We are all thrilled that his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall have made a special visit to the Galilee Chapel.
“It was such a beautiful day. The Prince was very interested in the history of the stones. Thanks to the restoration project they are now being displayed properly and have been placed so that visitors can walk all around them to see them from all angles.”
Following prayers and a Bible reading, the St Illtud’s Church Choir led the hymn singing before the Royal party were shown around the Chapel by the Rector, accompanied by the architect Michael Davies and Gareth Kiddie, the Interpretation and Activities co-ordinator. The Royal couple enjoyed a cup of tea on the mezzanine floor before signing the visitors’ book.
In the garden outside a Magnolia tree was planted by the Prince and watered by the Duchess. Local Sunday schoolchildren looking on were told by the Prince to ensure they kept the tree well watered.
Before leaving the Prince and Duchess were presented with gifts which included a framed montage of pictures of the church by Reader Keith Brown, a town shield from the town mayor Michael Mason and a basket of local produce including bara brith from Creative Rural Communities presented by local baker Mel Constantino.