Wales

Queen helps Pembroke Dock mark bicentennial during visit

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Media captionBig crowds welcomed the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh in Pembrokeshire

The Queen has opened a heritage centre to mark a town's bicentennial during a visit to Pembrokeshire.

She and Prince Philip visited the Royal Dockyard Chapel in Pembroke Dock on the first part of a two-day trip to west and south Wales.

Earlier on Tuesday the couple spent time at an equine hospital, Prince's Gate Spring Water in Narberth and Picton Castle in Haverfordwest.

On Wednesday, the couple will visit Ystrad Mynach and Llantwit Major.

The couple arrived in Haverfordwest by royal train on Tuesday morning.

The Queen's first stop was Cotts Farm Equine Hospital in Robeston Wathen near Narberth, where she met the founders and members of staff at the veterinary facility.

One of the equine patients was racehorse Tea For Three, the bookies' favourite for the recent Grand National who fell during the race.

The Queen spoke to staff member Rebecca Morris while she gave the stallion a pat during her tour of the stables.

Director Graham Fowke said the Queen had been very interested in the details of the treatments given to the horses.

He said: "Her passion is the horses and that shines through. Every horse we had in, and we had five or six, she made the effort to touch the horse and get the feel of every single patient."

TV presenter and interior designer Anna Ryder Richardson, who runs the nearby Manor house Wildlife Park, was one of the guests.

She said: "We were up all night making floral displays for today and they look bloomin' marvellous, if I do say so myself.

"I'm thrilled for Graham and his family that the Queen decided to come visit them because they have a fantastic set-up.

"I'm always around here asking them questions and they are always so helpful."

Image caption Wellwishers prepare for the Queen's visit to Cotts Farm Equine Hospital
Image caption The Queen paid a solo visit to the hospital while the duke was at a potato packing plant
Image caption She was given a tour of the stables where the horses are kept for treatment at Cotts Farm Equine Hospital
Image copyright PA
Image caption Rebecca Morris introduced her charge, racehorse Tea For Three, to the Queen during the visit
Image caption Children welcome the Queen and Prince Phillip to Princes Gate with a handwritten message
Image caption The Queen arriving at the Princes Gate Spring Water company
Image caption The queen unveiled a timeline wall charting the history of Pembroke Dock and the dockyard

Meanwhile Prince Philip visited potato packing firm Puffin Produce in Withybush.

The company invited 250 children from local schools to greet the duke, with Rhys Jones and Lily Ramsey from Hook Primary presenting him with a commemorative model of a coal wagon made to celebrate the school's centenary.

Managing director Huw Thomas said: "It was great to see the children from Hook and Spittal Primary Schools joining us for this celebration of Pembrokeshire's agricultural industry."

The royals reunited for a joint visit to the Princes Gate Spring Water company, where they visited the factory floor to view the packaging process and meet staff and representatives from the company's charities.

Wales rugby international Ryan Jones and Wales and Swansea City football captain Ashley Williams both met the royals during their factory visit.

They were joined by pupils from Narberth, Tavernspite and Templeton primary schools.

Narberth's deputy head teacher Kelly Harrison said: "We are so excited to be here with our pupils. We only found out we were invited during the Easter holiday but there has been a big buzz around the school for the last couple of days."

The royal couple had lunch at Picton Castle in Haverfordwest before moving on to the Royal Dockyard Chapel in Pembroke Dock to view the restoration being carried out as part of the town's celebrations for its 200th year.

The Queen unveiled a timeline charting the history of the dockyard and the town.

Pupils from Pennar Community School sang a rendition of the hymn Glory to finish off the first day of the visit.

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