Prince Charles lends his support to people affected by Storm Desmond

Emily Nash

Spreading some festive cheer among people devastated by recent flooding, the Prince of Wales made a special visit to Cumbria. Prince Charles, 67, asked aides to arrange the trip after being shocked by the terrible damage to homes and businesses caused by Storm Desmond.

A royal source told HELLO!: "He has been watching the terrible pictures on the news and reading about it and was very determined to go up before Christmas to show solidarity with people there.

"He wanted to send the message that they have not been forgotten about."

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Prince Charles went to support the people who were hit by Storm Desmond in Cumbria

Despite the rain, workers at the storm-damaged McVities biscuit factory in Carlisle got into the festive spirit by wearing Christmas jumpers for the royal visit.

In the city’s Warwick Road, which the future King visited after flooding in 2009, he went into waterlogged homes and spoke to owners who face a wait of up to nine months before they can return.

Dorothy Richardson, 72, who showed the Prince around the ruined ground floor of her home, said: "It feels a bit surreal really, but it's very kind of him to come and think about us. He has a special feeling about Cumbria."

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Local residents were touched by Prince Charles' visit

Neighbour Barry Cookson, 58, said: "What a lovely man. He really seemed to care. He asked in detail about how I am coping, what support we've had.

"I didn't know what to expect but he was very kind and I got the sense that he really wants to be here. I heard that he specifically asked to come before Christmas - that's how much he's bothered about us."

Charles also visited Appleby-in-Westmorland, where floodwaters reached chest height.

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Prince Charles made a personal donation to The Cumbria Foundation after the storm

As well as giving moral support, his charities are offering practical support to those whose homes and businesses have been damaged.

Charles made a personal donation to The Cumbria Foundation and The Prince’s Countryside Fund also released £40,000 from its emergency fund.

His Business in the Community charity is also helping larger companies to help small businesses hit by the floods.

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