‘Everyone seems to be isolating’ says Camilla as she visits Hay-on-Wye

Rural Affairs Correspondent Hannah Thomas and camera operator Rob Milburn report from Hay-on-Wye after the Royal visit.

The Prince of Wales took a spin in a hydrogen-powered car while the Duchess of Cornwall visited a Hay-on-Wye bookshop as their week-long Wales visit continues.

Heir to the throne Charles got behind wheel of the lightweight green-coloured Rasa when he visited Riversimple, an eco-vehicle firm, in Llandrindod Wells on Tuesday.

It comes after Charles praised staff at a Wrexham vaccine factory for the part they have played in the battle against Covid-19.

Taking the two-seater car for a test-drive, Charles heard how the Rasa emits nothing but pure water vapour and is designed to minimise the particulates from tyres and brakes with its low weight, skinny tyres and high regenerative braking.

The Prince of Wales test drives a Rasa hydrogen powered car Credit: PA

It has a range of 300 miles and is billed as being “light to handle, responsive and fun to drive” with a “nippy 0-60mph in 9.7 seconds”.

The prince, known for his green credentials, was pictured grinning as he emerged from the aerodynamic car after the opening of its sleek hi-tech butterfly doors.

Meanwhile, Camilla was snapped enjoying a tub of icecream during a visit to Hay-on-Wye, while meeting with the organisers of the Hay Festival and touring independent shops.

The Duchess of Cornwall remarked how “everyone seems to be self-isolating these days” as she visited booksellers in the town.

The Duchess enjoyed an ice cream during the visit Credit: PA

Bookshop owner Anne Brichto called out to Camilla from an upstairs window above Addyman Books, where she has been staying after getting pinged for contact with someone with Covid-19.

The duchess’s remarks came after the Duchess of Cambridge was told on Friday to self-isolate at Kensington Palace.

Camilla, 73, standing in the street, called back to Anne, saying: “I heard you are self-isolating. I am glad you are enjoying it.”

As she entered the bookstore, the duchess remarked: “Everyone seems to be isolating these days.”

Rules on 10-day self-isolation periods in England are being eased for the fully vaccinated and under-18s, but not until August 16.

The Duchess chatted to bookshop owners Credit: PA

At Addyman Books, the duchess chatted with owner Derek Addyman, who stood in for his self-isolating partner.

Camilla said: “What a very special place to be. This bookshop looks absolutely lovely.

“I can’t imagine anything nicer than being in a bookshop and studying all these books.

“I’ve just started my Instagram. I have a Reading Room. I don’t know anything about technology but it shows what you can do even if you are a technophobe like me.

“It’s really nice to put up my favourite books. It is going quite well.”

The duchess, an avid reader who holds seven patronages related to literature, also admired crime books in the Murder & Mayhem bookshop and grabbed a tub of toffee and honeycomb ice cream at Shepherds Ice Cream Parlour.

Camilla met authors, businessmen and schoolchildren at Richard Booth’s Bookshop, which is the world’s largest second-hand bookshop, saying: “It’s lovely to be back.”

Inside, she chatted with Pat Thornton, who worked in the shop for 47 years, and Eliza Greatbatch, daughter of the shop’s owners.

Ms Greatbatch told the duchess: “In the last few weeks it has been lovely to see the children come in – the excitement they have when they see all of these books.”

Year 5 students Imogen Keeble, Maisy Bishop and Rhys Sayce read a poem and handed the duchess a printed copy.

The duchess opened the online Hay Festival this year and has visited numerous times in the past.

The Prince of Wales (left) with Poet Laureate, Simon Armitage, during a meeting at his Welsh home in Myddfai Credit: PA

The Prince of Wales and the duchess are carrying out a week of engagements on their annual summer visit to Wales.

Hay-on-Wye is famed for its many bookshops and home to the literary festival, Hay Festival each year.In 2013, The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall together attended the annual literary festival. The Duchess has visited the festival three times in the last ten years.

Riversimple is building Rasas for trials with the general public, both in Monmouthshire, where they have installed a refueller in the town centre of Abergavenny, and in Milford Haven in Pembrokeshire.

It is the first in a range of vehicles, including a light commercial van and a family vehicle, that the firm plans to offer to customers on a subscription basis.