A slate bearing the name of the Prince of Wales will be one of the thousands used to restore the roof of a cathedral in Cornwall.
Charles showed his support for Truro Cathedral’s multimillion-pound appeal to replace the three-spired building’s original roof by signing a slate with his name and the date.
Almost 5,000 people have so far taken part in the Sign-A-Slate project to raise the £3.2 million need to replace the cathedral’s original 60,000-plus slates and preserve the building for future generations.
Liz Malloy, the cathedral’s development manager, said the prince’s visit was “really nice”.
“He obviously thought it was a lovely idea and he asked if the slates were going on the roof,” she said.
“I explained that people sign the reverse of the slate and it is there for all time.
“We are thrilled that he agreed to sign a slate for us and support the appeal.”
In signing the slate, Charles was following in the footsteps of his son and daughter-in-law, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and his sister, the Princess Royal, who have all previously signed slates destined for the renovation.
During his visit to the cathedral, the prince also took a keen interest in the work of icon artist Cheryll Kinsley Potter, asking her where she trained.
Ms Kinsley Potter told him she learned in Paris under a Greek master but had been an artist all her life.
Afterwards, she said Charles had taken a particular interest in one icon on display, adding: “I told him that they were made for
Richard II and we had a little chuckle because I said it was actually one of his ancestors.”
The prince was serenaded by the cathedral’s choir and met community groups and businesses who use the newly refurbished Old Cathedral School, which has undergone restoration work to create a creative hub focused on education, music and art for the city of Truro and the wider community.
He stopped to talk to pupils from Coads Green Primary School in Launceston, who were cutting poppies out of paper and tissue paper in preparation for the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War in November.
Hearing that they were planning to make 10,000, Charles told them “You’ll be very busy”, and then asked how long it was before their Easter holidays and whether or not their teacher gave them lots of homework.
Matilda Armstrong Evans, 10, who showed the prince the school’s mascot – a toy ring-tailed lemur, named Lenny the Learning Lemur – said she was so excited to be meeting Charles that she was “shaking the whole time”.
Charles unveiled a plaque, commemorating his visit, outside the Old Cathedral School, before leaving Truro for Nansledan – an extension to the coastal town of Newquay built on Duchy of Cornwall land and embodying the principles of architecture and urban planning championed by the prince – where he will unveil the name of the development’s first school.
Earlier, he toured the city’s Royal Cornwall Museum, which is celebrating its bicentenary year.
Charles took a keen interest in the Rashleigh Collection, which showcases Cornwall’s mineral heritage, and asked about recycling the products of mining and how environmentally friendly the industry could be.
He also spent time talking to artist Kurt Jackson and admiring his painting, The Waves Of Cornish Resourcefulness And Innovation, which he said had “real atmosphere to it”.
The prince asked about the method behind the work, which was commissioned for the museum’s 200th anniversary, and said: “I have done mixed media (artwork) but it does not always work.”
Mr Jackson said afterwards: “He is obviously a champion of Cornwall but he is also an amateur artist in his own right.
“I hope he sort of understands the reason and concept behind the painting and why I made it, which is about celebrating Cornwall’s past and present.”
On Friday, Charles will visit Dartmoor Prison, near Princetown in Devon, where he will to learn about the jail’s choir project and listen to a brief performance by participants.
He will also meet privately with the facility’s governor and Prisons and Probation Minister Rory Stewart.