Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall visit the Royal Navy in Plymouth
CITY sailors brushed shoulders with royalty as the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall toured HMS Drake.
HRH Prince Charles was flown to Devonport-based warship HMS Bulwark, which was training off Plymouth Sound, while the Duchess visited injured personnel at Hasler Company.
In her role as Commodore-in-Chief of Royal Naval Medical Services she spent time talking to the medical staff and injured Royal Marines.
Among them was Marine Spencer Vaughan, who broke his neck during an adventure training trip in Gran Canaria in 2010.
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The 25-year-old, who lives in Plymstock with his fiancee Jodie Jenkins, said it was an "honour" to meet the Duchess. "It was a great opportunity to meet someone Royal," he told The Herald. "She asked about where I am in my recovery, what I hoped to do in the future and I told her I want to go to university and study sports development.
"She asked when we were planning to get married and I said in the future, hopefully next year."
The Duchess also spoke with 46-year-old Martin Edwards, who was injured after coming off his bike last year.
The Warrant Officer told the Duchess that he has now set up a businessrestoring fine art after retraining during the last few years.
He said: "She asked me how I found it here. I told here how good it was and that the support here has been fantastic. The support from local businesses has also been really good."
Major Steve Melbourne, Officer Commanding Hasler Company, took the time to introduce the Duchess to the staff and injured personnel.
Speaking after the visit, he said: "I think it was a huge honour that the Duchess would consider coming to visit Hasler Company.
"It's an important opportunity for the guys to tell their stories. It's easy to talk statistics but it's what happened to them, what their recovery pathway is and what's next for them."
The Duchess is also Commodore-in-Chief of the Naval Chaplaincy Service.
She attended a reception with the Royal Navy chaplains in the officers mess at HMS Drake.
HMS Drake chaplain Roland Wort said: "We feel it is a great honour that in the middle of a busy time she made the time to come and see the chaplains."
While the Duchess was carrying out her engagements, heir to the throne Prince Charles met with the crew onboard Royal Navy flagship HMS Bulwark.
He made the visit as part of his role as the Admiral of the Fleet, and Commodore-in-Chief of Plymouth Royal Naval Command.