Prince Charles visited Cockermouth this morning to thank the rescue services for their work during the floods of a week ago and hear at first hand what happened. This was no whistle-stop tour for a photo-op and a couple of soundbites as happened when politicians visited a few days earlier. It is common knowledge that the Prince loves the Lake District and often takes holidays here and his visit was clearly motivated by genuine interest and concern.
He arrived by RAF helicopter shortly after 10 o'clock and his first stop was the Cockermouth Mountain Rescue headquarters where he met representatives of all the rescue services and voluntary organizations that had been involved, together with various dignitaries including the Mayor of Cockermouth. After that he walked down to "Main Street at Mitchells" - the former job centre owned by local firm Mitchells to which several flooded-out Main Street business have temporarily relocated. He was there for more than half an hour talking to business owners and customers inside.
Prince Charles didn't walk down to Main Street to see the devastation for himself nor did he visit any flooded-out homes. Perhaps the powers that be decided it would be too dirty for him. Still it was nice of him to come. It is the closest I've come to any member of the Royal Family. The questions he asked showed genuine interest and concern and he was very warm and sympathetic and I'm sure he helped the people he spoke to forget their troubles for a little while.