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Charles and Camilla open restored Mackintosh tea rooms

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The Duke of Rothesay spoke of his pride at helping officially open the historic Charles Rennie Mackintosh-designed tea rooms in Glasgow following a £10 million restoration.

Charles and wife Camilla toured the refurbished Mackintosh at the Willow tea rooms on Sauchiehall Street, which date back to 1903.

The A-listed property is of international significance as it was the only building where Mackintosh had complete control over the architecture and interior decorations, including the design of furniture, cutlery and waitress uniforms.

The Willow Tea Rooms Trust organised the four-year restoration of the site and the trust’s Celia Sinclair showed the royal couple round the restored building.

Duke and Duchess of Rothesay visit Glasgow
Charles and Camilla greet the crowds outside the tea rooms (John Linton/PA)

They met trainees taken on by the tea room following a training course organised through the Prince’s Trust and spoke to people involved in creating replicas of more than 50 pieces of original Charles Rennie Mackintosh furniture.

Charles said: “It’s a remarkable achievement. I’m full of admiration.

Charles
Charles signs the visitor book (John Linton/PA)

“What you’ve managed to do is truly splendid and will make such a difference to Glasgow.

“I wish you nothing but the greatest success from now on and I’m very proud to have played a small part in opening the tea rooms.”

Charles
Charles finishes the last detail of the furniture (John Linton/PA)

Presented with a Mackintosh replica chair, he joked there is “room for it where I grew up”.

The royals were given tea before unveiling a plaque to open the tea rooms.

Charles and Camilla
Charles and Camilla at the Mackintosh at the Willow tea rooms (John Linton/P)A

Charles then put in place the final piece of wood carving to mark the completion of the restoration.

The royal couple greeted crowds in Sauchiehall Street as they left.

Camilla also visited two cancer centres in the city, beginning with the Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre where she heard about the work of Target Ovarian Cancer in its 10th anniversary year.

Camilla in Glasgow
Patron of Maggie’s Centre Kirsty Wark presents Camilla with gifts during her visit to the centre at Gartnavel Hospital (John Linton/PA)

She then headed to the Maggie’s Centre at Gartnavel Hospital, where she spoke to cancer patients who told her how the centre had helped them.

The Duchess, who has been president of Maggie’s Centres for a decade, praised their atmosphere, saying: “When I went to the first one I thought it would be depressing, but it was the complete opposite. It was uplifting.”

Camilla
Camilla meets charity volunteers from Walk The Walk during a visit to Maggie’s Centre at Gartnavel Hospital (John Linton/PA)

She also met Lily Jencks, daughter of the charity’s co-founders, and toured the garden she designed surrounding the centre.

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