Glasgow & West Scotland

Prince Charles presents chocolate Highgrove to Ayr hospice

Prince Charles with chocolate model of Highgrove House Image copyright PA

Prince Charles came bearing a special gift on a Christmas visit to a hospice - a chocolate model of his Highgrove House.

The cake included chocolate figures of Charles and wife Camilla, as well as the Prince of Wales's feathers.

Charles presented the gift to staff, patients and volunteers at The Ayrshire Hospice in Ayr.

He said he was "interested to see who does the first demolition job" on the cake, which was made in Switzerland.

The independent hospice cares for people with incurable illnesses such as cancer, neurological conditions, end stage heart failure and lung disease.

Image copyright PA
Image caption The cake was made by Chocolaterie Artisanale Alexandre in Nyon, Switzerland.
Image copyright PA
Image caption It featured models of Charles and his wife, Camilla.

Charles, who is known as the Duke of Rothesay when in Scotland, toured the facility and joined in an art therapy class.

He sat with patients painting a sunflower on a ceramic tile and told the class it was the first time in months he had picked up a paint brush.

About 185 staff and more than 600 volunteers work at the hospice to provide care at no cost to the patients or their families.

Chief executive Mandy Yule guided Charles on the tour of the hospice and thanked him for travelling "through storm and flood" as heavy rain and strong winds swept Ayrshire.

Before leaving, the prince said: "This is a splendid hospice and having met some of you I can tell you that I'm so full of admiration for the love and care in this place.

"It clearly makes a huge difference to so many and I hope it goes from strength to strength."

Image copyright PA
Image caption The prince met guests at a tea dance at Dumfries House

Later, Charles surprised guests by turning up to a tea dance at Dumfries House, near Cumnock, an event set up last year to bring together elderly people in the area at Christmas time.

Charles helped save Dumfries House from closure by heading a consortium of charities and heritage bodies which bought the property and its land in 2007.

It was opened to the public for the first time in 250 years in summer 2008 and Charles has since been a regular visitor to the estate.

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