King Charles and Camilla visit Colchester to mark city status

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King Charles and Camilla, Queen Consort greet crowds on arrival at Colchester Castle

King Charles III and Camilla, Queen Consort, have arrived in Colchester to celebrate its city status.

Colchester in Essex was granted city status last year as part of the Queen’s platinum jubilee celebrations.

Protesters holding banners saying “Not my King” joined a crowd that gathered to greet the King and Camilla on their arrival at Colchester Castle.

As the couple got out of their car, a protester shouted: “Why are you wasting our money?”

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Anti-monarchy protesters await the arrival of the king and queen consort

Local organizations representing the city’s heritage and communities were at the palace to meet the King and Camilla.

These included refugees who had settled in Colchester and the animal care team at Colchester Zoo.

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The name of Colchester Zoo’s rhino calf was revealed by King Charles and Camilla

During the reception, the king and queen consort unveiled the name of the zoo’s newest rhino calf, Dara.

King Charles pulled a string to retrieve the material that covered the name on the easel.

A town crier then rang the bell and boomed, as Charles exclaimed: “Oyez, oyez, oyez! I officially declare the latest addition to Colchester Zoo to be baby Dara.”

The female southern white rhino calf was born on 13 January and her name means “beautiful” in Swahili.

King told zoo staff: “I hope it will grow into a big animal.”

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King did not appear to acknowledge the protesters

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The King and Queen Consort pictured inside Colchester Castle

At the palace reception, the mayor of Colchester, Tim Young, told the king: “Words cannot describe how much it means to us that you are here.”

Afterwards, King Charles and Camilla will join people from Age UK for afternoon tea at Colchester Library. They will hear from local volunteers, service users and staff at The Silver Line, a free telephone service for older people.

King Charles became patron of Age UK in 2010 while he was Prince of Wales, while Camilla became patron of The Silver Line in 2017 while she was the Duchess of Cornwall.

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King Charles and Camilla are shown a Roman vase at the palace

At the library, Camilla will join a gathering of local authors, children, supporters and volunteers to celebrate the Essex Year of Reading.

The countywide campaign was set up to help children and young people find a lifelong love of reading, and to help ensure that every child in Essex is able to read at or above their age level.

Presenter and children’s author Dermot O’Leary and author Frank Cottrell-Boyce, who are both Colchester locals, will also join Camilla in the library.

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