EXCLUSIVE: Prince Charles to visit Northampton

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Prince Charles will be making a Royal visit to Northampton later this month, the Chron can reveal today.

The heir to the throne will be returning to the town for the first time in just over five years when he arrives here for an official visit on Tuesday, January 22.

Clarence House has yet to officially confirm full details of the visit, but the Prince will be visiting Perry Street-based shoemakers Crockett & Jones, the high end shoemaker which has been based continually in the town since it was founded in 1879.

Prince Charles will be meeting workers at the company’s factory in Perry Street, off Kettering Road, and is likely to do a walkabout outside to meet the crowds of well-wishers.

The visit has followed months of intensive effort to secure the Royal visit by the Northampton North MP, Michael Ellis, who chaired the all-party Parliamentary Group to celebrate last year’s Diamond Jubilee.

A delighted Mr Ellis said last night: “This is going to be a fantastic day for the town and for my constituency of Northampton North. The Prince will be able to see first hand just how Northampton is going places and how it is benefiting from the likes of the Waterside enterprise zone and companies such as Crockett and Jones whose excellent workers are exporting their business from here all over the world.

“It should be a really wonderful occasion and I know Northampton will give him a really good welcome.”

The Royal visit to Northampton is likely to be an especially high profile one because it comes on the day that the Commons debate the proposed changes to the laws on succession, moves that would see the Duchess of Cambridge’s first child become Queen if she was a girl.

During a private meeting with a very high ranking civil servant, Prince Charles is reported to have had concerns about abandoning the male line of succession, although Clarence House has refused to comment on this.

The Prince was last here in December 2007 when his visit included trips to Upton and to the Fishmarket. He also visited Northampton in January 2006 with his then new wife, the Duchess of Cornwall as well as July 2002 when he visited All Saints Church for the opening of the piazza.

He also made an earlier visit to Northampton, accompanied by a then 15-year-old Prince Harry in September 2000.

Look out for further details about Prince Charles’s visit, including his arrival here, in the next few days.