Prince Charles to visit Port Talbot, Swansea and Carmarthen next week
HISTORY will repeat itself when Prince Charles returns to Port Talbot's steelworks next week.
He was there in 2002 to launch the then new Blast Furnace No 5.
Ten years later the Prince of Wales will do the honours again, this time commemorating the completion of the £185 million Blast Furnace No 4.
His visit on Friday will also see him tour Dylan Thomas's birthplace in Swansea, and call at University of Wales Trinity Saint David's Carmarthen campus.
His first stop will see him meet Tata workers and members of the community, before going to the blast furnace control room to unveil the plaque for the No 5 furnace.
"We invited him and we are honoured he is attending," said Tata spokesman Robert Dangerfield.
"He was here to launch the No 5 furnace in 2002 so it is nice to have that continuity.
"He is Prince of Wales and next in line for the throne so we would like him to be aware of who we are and what we do.
"He has a strong interest in sustainability and caring for the environment, and there is a very strong message about that in the new blast furnace."
Mr Dangerfield said it had been an enormous project and achievement by the teams involved with it.
After leaving Port Talbot, Prince Charles, a fan of Dylan Thomas's poetry, will travel to the poet's birthplace at 5 Cwmdonkin Drive, Uplands.
There the prince will tour the house, meeting members of Dylan's family and those involved in the centenary celebrations of his birth in 2014.
Geoff and Anne Haden took over the lease on the house in 2005 and spent three years restoring it. They now offer tours, accommodation and meals there.
Next Friday will mark their first royal visit. "We are very excited," said Anne. "It's brilliant, I think it's the biggest recognition we could have, ever. It's such an honour.
"The house runs along the same lines as Prince Charles's beliefs. We restored it using traditional methods to honour the house as we found it.
"We have never had a royal visit before and I think it's wonderful.
"In a way I think I've become Dylan's mum. I'm making sure the house is sparkling and all the brass is gleaming, ready for the royal visit."
The final stop in the prince's itinerary will be a visit to the Carmarthen campus of the University of Wales Trinity St David, of which he is a patron.
There he will attend a traditional Plygain service.
Vice-chancellor, Professor Medwin Hughes, said: "We are delighted and very honoured by his presence at this special service and are delighted to celebrate a unique aspect of our religious heritage and culture."