9 MARCH 1983 THE PRINCE AND PRINCESS OF WALES VISIT THE ANCIENT MARKET TOWN OF TAVISTOCK IN DEVON

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On March 9, 1983 Prince Charles and Princess Diana visited the ancient market town of Tavistock in West Devon. During the visit to the West Country, Diana was exquisitely dressed in a tan check wool coat-dress with dark brown leather collar and matching buttons and cuffs by her relatively unknown and young designer, Arabella Pollen.  Her hat was a deep brown suede with a novel bow in back and an up-turned trilby-styled brim. Media reports at the time said they had spent the night before the visit on the Royal Train which had been sidled at a now closed track near Teigngrace Halt.

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Tavistock is an ancient stannary (tin mine) and market town within West Devon, England. It is situated on the River Tavy from which its name derives.  It traces its recorded history back to at least AD 961 when Tavistock Abbey, whose ruins lie in the centre of the town, was founded. Its most famous son is Sir Francis Drake.
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The Prince of Wales granted a charter to the newly created borough of West Devon, above.  In the video below he gives a speech to the local dignitaries and introduces Diana as, my wife, “The Duchess of Cornwall.”

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Arabella Pollen coat dress; pictured at left in Twyn, North Wales, 1982.

The Royal couple took a tour of Bedford Square in Tavistock after lunch. Princess Diana, in her capacity as Patron of the Pre-School Playgroups Association since 1982, was launching an appeal for a national centre for the Association as she visited the Under-Fives pre-school groups, one at Bovey Tracey and the other at Tavistock. The crowds were large and lively, and she and the Prince were in high demand as they did a walkabout of the town. The town turned out in force including the police below, laden with bouquets for the Princess.
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