Prince Charles concerned about the future of UK heritage


The Prince of Wales landed in the Royal helicopter at the Anglesey Abbey this morning to mark the start of British Tourism Week, which runs until March 20.

He was shown around the working mill and ground some wheat – and was given a bag of flour by staff.

After a walk in the winter gardens, the Prince then spoke to tourist chiefs and Tourism and Heritage Minister John Penrose MP at the 2001 tourism summit of VisitEngland in the Abbey.

He warned them about how we were “in an age of stultifying mono-culturalism” and that if action was not taken on saving Britain’s countryside and heritage “we will loose an asset of incalculable value.”

His Royal Highness then moved on to a reception at the Fitzwilliam Museum where he turned down a glass of red wine in favour of a cup of coffee as he chatted to students supported by trusts he helped to set up.

But he hardly touched the coffee either as he engaged in conversation with many of the 1,265 students from 83 countries who are supported by the Cambridge Commonwealth Trust and the Cambridge Overseas Trust, set up in the 1980s after his time as a student at Cambridge.

Kidambi Piran Ravichandral, from India, who studying for a PhD in engineering, said: “He is a really jovial chap.

“His conversation ranged from the shower at Trinity (where the Prince was student) to our career prospects.

“The support I got from the trust made the difference between me coming to Cambridge or a different university.”

Luzselene Rincon, from Mexico, said: “It was amazing to meet the Prince. I never thought I would get that opportunity.

“It’s a great opportunity to come here to the best university in the world.”

Pedro Saez Williams, also from Mexico, said: “Meeting the Prince made me feel special.”

Earlier the Prince met some of the trustees, including former Government minister Lord Howe.

The Prince was formerly chairman of the trusts which last year paid £14 million to support international students at Cambridge.

Michael O’Sullivan, director of the Cambridge Commonwealth Trust and the Cambridge Overseas Trust, said: “The Prince has always shown great interest in our work in making Cambridge accessible to international students.

“We are providing most scholarships at any British university.”

The highest number of students support by the trusts are from China but more recently more students are being supported from central and South America as well as Commonwealth countries, the USA and eastern Europe.

The Prince last visited the trusts’ reception at the museum three years ago.