'Very happy indeed': Prince Charles says he's 'thrilled' to announce Harry and Meghan's engagement as he visits his model village in Dorchester

  • Poundbury is due for completion in 2025 and will have a population of 5,000
  • The 'Utopian idyll' is built on Duchy of Cornwall land and championed by Charles
  • Founded on principles on 'no social classes' and has a mini Buckingham Palace
  • Today Charles will survey its progress and drop in on a school and local business

Proud father Prince Charles?said he was 'thrilled' about the prospect of a royal wedding during a visit to his 'model village' in Dorset.

His visit to Poundbury today comes just minutes after he and Camilla announced, via Clarence House, that they were 'delighted' about the upcoming nuptials of?Prince Harry to his actress girlfriend Meghan Markle.

The couple, who have been dating for a year and a half, are set to tie the knot next spring and will live together in Nottingham Cottage, Charles said.?

Prince Charles told reporters today that the news was 'very good' and added: 'Thrilled for them both. They'll be very happy indeed.'

He spoke at the start of a series of engagements in Poundbury in Dorchester, Dorset, which is built on Duchy of Cornwall land.?

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Proud: Charles' visit to Poundbury comes just minutes after he and Camilla revealed that they were 'delighted' to announce the upcoming nuptials of Prince Harry to Meghan Markle

Proud: Charles' visit to Poundbury comes just minutes after he and Camilla revealed that they were 'delighted' to announce the upcoming nuptials of Prince Harry to Meghan Markle

The Prince of Wales looked to be in excellent spirits as he?told reporters today that the news was 'very good' and added: 'Thrilled for them both. They'll be very happy indeed'

The Prince of Wales looked to be in excellent spirits as he?told reporters today that the news was 'very good' and added: 'Thrilled for them both. They'll be very happy indeed'

The prince visited Damers First School to meet staff, students and parents, and find out about their community and sustainability programmes.

He toured classrooms and went outside to meet children working in the school garden before unveiling a plaque to officially open the school.

While seeing children baking and peeling apples, Charles joked: 'No one's cut their fingers off yet.'

Addressing teachers, he added: 'I see you've done the risk assessment.'

Later, while watching children planting pansies in the raised borders, the prince told one girl: 'You're doing a very good job.'

The school, which moved to a new, purpose-built site in the village in April 2017, already holds the Eco-Schools' Green Flag award and is working towards being admitted into the global environmental schools programme's hall of fame.?

Blossoming romance:?The couple, who have been dating for a year and a half, are set to tie the knot next spring and will live together in Nottingham Cottage, Charles said

Blossoming romance:?The couple, who have been dating for a year and a half, are set to tie the knot next spring and will live together in Nottingham Cottage, Charles said

Charles and Camilla sent out an announcement this ?morning via Clarence House saying that they were 'delighted' to announce the engagement and the wedding will take place this spring

Charles and Camilla sent out an announcement this ?morning via Clarence House saying that they were 'delighted' to announce the engagement and the wedding will take place this spring

The Prince of Wales visited Bowes Lyon Court Retirement Living Plus in Poundbury, Dorset

The Prince of Wales visited Bowes Lyon Court Retirement Living Plus in Poundbury, Dorset

The Prince of Wales was visiting Bowes Lyon Court Retirement Living Plus, an assisted living retirement community comprised of independently owned properties, to meet residents and staff

The Prince of Wales was visiting Bowes Lyon Court Retirement Living Plus, an assisted living retirement community comprised of independently owned properties, to meet residents and staff

Prince Charles indulged in a game of pool as he visited the home

Prince Charles indulged in a game of pool as he visited the home

Poundbury, which is built on Duchy of Cornwall land on the outskirts of Dorchester, is home to around 3,000 people.

The 'experimental' town was created on the basis of architectural principles found desirable by Charles and is intended as a Utopian idyll where there is no segregation of social classes, and schools, shops and places of work are within walking distance..

Damers First School, which moved to a new, purpose-built site in the village in April 2017 already holds the Eco-Schools' Green Flag award and is working towards being admitted into the global environmental schools programme's hall of fame.

Charles looked to be in excellent spirits as he chatted to locals in Poundbury today, but many couldn't resist grilling him about his son's happy news

Charles looked to be in excellent spirits as he chatted to locals in Poundbury today, but many couldn't resist grilling him about his son's happy news

Proud father Prince Charles said he was 'thrilled' and 'very happy indeed' about the prospect of a royal wedding during a visit to his 'model village' in Dorset today
The royal looked to be in excellent spirits

Proud father Prince Charles said he was 'thrilled' and 'very happy indeed' about the prospect of a royal wedding during a visit to his 'model village' in Dorset today

Charles will then visit Loop Technology, a family-run business which was based in Dorchester after it opened in 1998 but moved to premises in Poundbury in August 2016.

The company, which employs 30 people, uses augmented reality and 3D scanning to programme robotics for the international market, particularly in the aerospace, automotive and renewable energy industries.

During the visit, Charles will learn about two different projects in development - FibreEYE, a 3D scanner which can identify faults in material used for aerospace engineering and Hololens, which uses virtual reality to programme robots.?

To kick off his visit, the prince visited Damers First School to meet staff, students and parents, and find out about their community and sustainability programmes

To kick off his visit, the prince visited Damers First School to meet staff, students and parents, and find out about their community and sustainability programmes

VIP visitor: Charles?toured classrooms and went outside to meet children working in the school garden before unveiling a plaque to officially open the school

VIP visitor: Charles?toured classrooms and went outside to meet children working in the school garden before unveiling a plaque to officially open the school

Charles chats to local school children on Monday as he is pictured for the first time since announcing his younger son's girlfriend to Meghan Markle this morning

Charles chats to local school children on Monday as he is pictured for the first time since announcing his younger son's girlfriend to Meghan Markle this morning

Mucking in: The first-in-line to the throne takes part in a spot of gardening as he chats to youngsters potting plants at school

Mucking in: The first-in-line to the throne takes part in a spot of gardening as he chats to youngsters potting plants at school

Charles looked to be in excellent spirits as he stopped in on Linscombe Street to open the new school. The town is set for completion in 2025

Charles looked to be in excellent spirits as he stopped in on Linscombe Street to open the new school. The town is set for completion in 2025

Work in progress:?Poundbury, which is built on Duchy of Cornwall land on the outskirts of Dorchester, is home to around 3,000 people

Work in progress:?Poundbury, which is built on Duchy of Cornwall land on the outskirts of Dorchester, is home to around 3,000 people

Busy schedule:?Today Charles , 69, will first visit Damers First School to meet staff, students and parents
He will also find out about their community and sustainability programmes

Busy schedule:?Today Charles , 69, will first visit Damers First School to meet staff, students and parents and find out about their community and sustainability programmes

Charles' Utopian idyll in Dorset?

Poundbury has been created on the basis of architectural principles found desirable by Prince Charles.

It is intended as a Utopian idyll where there is no segregation of social classes, and schools, shops and places of work are within walking distance.

The village's overall plan was developed in the 1980s by Leon Krier, an architect from Luxembourg, and construction began in October 1993.

It is due for completion in 2025 and Poundbury will have a population of 5,000 people living in 2,250 homes.

Last year, building was completed on a?replica of Buckingham Palace in the heart of his 'Utopian' village in a touching tribute to his late grandmother.

The huge palladian property sits in the heart of Queen Mother Square, the centrepiece of Poundbury in Dorset, which is owned by the Duchy of Cornwall.

The grand building has been named Strathmore House in a nod to the Queen Mother's heritage. Her father, Claude Bowes-Lyon was the 14th Earl of Strathmore.

Look familiar??Last year, building was completed on this replica of Buckingham Palace in the heart of his 'Utopian' village in a touching tribute to Charles' late grandmother

Look familiar??Last year, building was completed on this replica of Buckingham Palace in the heart of his 'Utopian' village in a touching tribute to Charles' late grandmother

The neoclassical building features a large balcony with two majestic pillars and looks remarkably similar to Buckingham Palace, where the Queen Mother lived with King George VI until his death in 1952.?

It contains eight luxury flats worth £650,000 each, which have all been sold.

Next to Strathmore House is the Duchess of Cornwall, a five-storey public house modelled on the Ritz Hotel, a favourite haunt of the Queen Mother.

The building, a joint venture between the Duchy of Cornwall and Hall and Woodhouse brewery, will offer a pub restaurant, conference facilities and hotel accommodation.

According to the Hall and Woodhouse website, Prince Charles requested the venture be named after his wife.?

Another block of 20 exclusive flats and a spa is being built on the other side of the square and will be called the Royal Pavilion, named after one of the Queen Mother's racehorses.

The finishing touch to the square will be a 10ft tall statue of the Queen Mother.

A large plinth has been put in place in the square in readiness for the installation of the monument, which is a second casting of the one of the Queen Mother in The Mall depicting her aged 51 and wearing robes.

Prince Charles was very close to his grandmother, who died in 2002 aged 101, and decided several years ago to honour her in Poundbury which is his 25-year experimental project to build a classically designed urban development on Duchy of Cornwall land.?

He will then meet residents and staff at Bowes Lyon Court, a retirement community that has 62 one and two-bed apartments for the over 70s.?

The properties are owned independently but residents are also provided with additional care and support by a qualified team on site 24 hours a day.

Charles' model village is a mix of shops, cottages, town houses and businesses built reflecting his passion for classical architecture.

Work began on the project in 1993 and the idea was to create an urban quarter of Dorchester which gave priority to people, rather than cars, and where commercial buildings were mixed with residential areas, shops and leisure facilities to create a walkable community.

The royal wedding: What we know so far?

It will be in the spring next year

Harry and Meghan Markle will tie the knot in spring next year. No definite date has been announced, but it is unlikely to be April when the Duchess of Cambridge is expecting her baby - more likely is March, or possibly May, for these royal nuptials.

Harry proposed earlier this month

Romantic Harry popped the question while the pair were in London in November.

William and Kate get on very well with Meghan

Harry's brother William and his wife Kate issued a warm statement, telling of their excitement at the news.

'It has been wonderful getting to know Meghan and to see how happy she and Harry are together,' the pair said.

The Queen is happy too

Proud grandparents the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh are 'delighted for the couple and wish them every happiness', a Buckingham Palace spokesman said.

Harry's father is thrilled

The Prince of Wales, who announced the engagement, said while visiting Poundbury in Dorset that he was 'thrilled' and 'very happy indeed'.

Harry and Meghan will live in London

American Ms Markle has left her home in Canada to live in the UK. Their married home will be Harry's current base Nottingham Cottage, at Kensington Palace where William, Kate, Prince George and Princess Charlotte also have an apartment.

Harry asked permission from both Ms Markle's parents

Modern man Harry sought and received Thomas Markle and Doria Ragland's blessing.

And her parents are over the moon

In an affectionate statement, Mr Markle and Ms Ragland said jointly: 'We are incredibly happy for Meghan and Harry.'

They added: 'We wish them a lifetime of happiness and are very excited for their future together.'

Harry and Meghan share the same qualities

Ms Markle's parents revealed: 'Our daughter has always been a kind and loving person.

'To see her union with Harry, who shares the same qualities, is a source of great joy for us as parents.'

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