20 JULY 2007

Bricklaying isn't a skill many royals can lay claim to, but Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall gave it their best shot as they got to grips with bricks and mortar during a day trip to Chester. The royal pair were touring the Chester University campus, where Charles was awarded an honorary degree, to meet a group of youngsters on a building apprentices scheme linked to The Prince's Trust.

After being encouraged to try bricklaying for himself, the heir to the throne got stuck straight in. Laughing at his attempt he declared: "It's not very good, is it?". While he took a laidback approach to the task his wife seemed more focused, deftly placing a brick in cement and making sure she was being as precise as possible.

Earlier in the day the royal duo had visited Cheshire's Military Museum as part of their first joint visit to the town in their capacity as the Earl and Countess of Chester. They were greeted by pupils from Overleigh St Mary's Primary School, many of whom presented cards to Camilla in honour of her 60th birthday on Tuesday. "I wished the Duchess a happy birthday, and then the Prince asked me where I was going for my holidays," revealed ten-year-old Alice Johnson. "I said Cyrpus and he said 'Don't forget to put sun cream on your nose'."

Photo: ©
Focused on the task in hand the Duchess carefully lays a brick during her visit to Chester UniversityPhoto: © Rex
Photo: ©
Charles, meanwhile, acknowledged his efforts with a bricklaying trowel left something to be desired. "I'm not very good, am I?" he jokedPhoto: © Rex
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