It’s not easy handing over reins says Charles with a grin

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The Prince of Wales appeared to make a humorous reference to his mother’s long-running reign in a visit yesterday to the birthplace of writer and poet Dylan Thomas during a whistlestop visit to the principality.

Busy Charles has agreed to become royal patron of DT100, the planned celebrations to mark the centenary of the Welsh bard’s birth in 2014. But as he approaches a landmark 65 himself, the official retirement age for men, the heir to the throne’s long-awaited future role was clearly on his mind.

Charles was taken on a tour of 5 Cwmdonkin Drive in Swansea by Anne Haden, who has played a major part in renovating the house.

Thomas was born and grew up in the property, which has now been returned to a condition he would recognise from his childhood.

Present to greet the Prince as he was conducted on his tour was Jeff Towns, the new chairman of the Dylan Thomas Society.

Also present was John Rhys Thomas, the society’s former chairman.

“He is the new kid on the block,” Mrs Haden said of Mr Towns as he was presented to Charles.

“Never easy handing over,” the Prince said with what appeared to be a knowing grin as he left the room to view the adjacent kitchen.

He reappeared moments later and said: “Frightfully good, the kitchen”, as he went on to 
sign the attraction’s visitors’ book.

Charles earlier had visited Tata Steel’s Port Talbot works where he was told about a new super-strength steel that could, in future, help protect troops on active service that has been in development with the Ministry of Defence.

He continued his brief tour by heading to Swansea’s historic market where a crowd several hundred strong gathered.

Charles concluded his day-long tour with a visit to the University of Wales Trinity Saint David in Carmarthen.