The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall found themselves in Belfast, Northern Ireland as they celebrated their 14th wedding anniversary on Tuesday. Charles and Camilla were on a previously unannounced visit to the city where the future King had the honour of re-opening Hillsborough Castle. The castle, which has undergone an impressive £20m makeover, is the official residence of the Queen and the royal family when they visit Northern Ireland.
As Charles was welcomed to the mansion, he even quipped about his and Camilla's special day, saying in a speech: "Ladies and Gentlemen, I'm enormously grateful to you all for coming such a long way to celebrate our wedding anniversary. It's incredibly good of you."
Charles and Camilla were visiting Hillsborough Castle
Charles, 70, went on to say: "There has been, as you can imagine, a long journey to get to this point, but I could not be more pleased that we have finally reached the finishing line! It was five years ago, in April 2014, that Historic Royal Palaces assumed responsibility for the castle and gardens at Hillsborough – one of those places that many have heard of and yet few had ever visited."
Among the developments were the complete refurbishment of the state rooms, part restoration of the gardens, the creation of a walled garden and the launch of the new Clore Learning Centre. Ending his speech, Charles said: "For me, Hillsborough has always been a special place, a place whose many stories reflect the complex history of this island. Thanks to the fine restoration work that we are marking today, future generations will have the chance to hear and experience these stories for themselves in restored and re-presented surroundings.
The couple were celebrating their 14th wedding anniversary
"It is my particular hope that, as they do so, they will come to a renewed understanding of our past and a renewed resolve for our future. As we look to the future therefore, I hope Hillsborough Castle and Gardens can now well and truly be placed on the map and serve as both a destination and indeed an inspiration for all on the island of Ireland to enjoy!"
Prince Charles the king of style:
Charles and Camilla married on 9 April 2005 in a civil ceremony at Windsor Guildhall. Neither Charles' parents nor Camilla's father attended the marriage ceremony; instead Camilla's son Tom Parker Bowles, who is also Charles' godson, and Charles' sons William and Harry acted as witnesses. The Queen and Prince Philip attended the service of blessing afterwards at St George's Chapel.
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