CROWDS and well-wishers braved the cold in their droves to see Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall turn on Tetbury's Christmas lights yesterday evening.

The royal couple arrived at the Market Hall just before 6pm to applause following a torchlit procession along Long Street led by Father Christmas.

The Prince, who is soon to be a grandfather for the first time following this week's announcement of the Duchess of Cambridge's pregnancy, and his wife were greeted by prominent figures from the town including mayor and mayoress Rob and Tracey McCorkell.

Tetbury schoolchildren Evie Illes, 10, from St Mary's Primary School and Evan Pirie, 14, from Sir William Romney's School, winners of a Christmas art competition, were on hand to help the royal couple throw the switch and turn on the town's spectacular illuminations.

Speaking afterwards, Evie said the Prince seemed “really polite”.

“You didn't have to try very hard to talk to him,” she said.

Evan agreed, saying: “We just chatted.

“He asked me my age and what school I went to. He was really nice and easy to chat to.”

Once the town was in a suitably festive mood, the royal couple, who live at nearby Highgrove, greeted well-wishers before meeting local business owners at the Highgrove Shop on Long Street.

Hetti Niblett from Tetbury got the chance to congratulate the Prince of Wales on this week's good news while he greeted crowds after the light switch-on.

“He said he's delighted,” she said.

“He's a very, very lovely, kind and caring man.”

Lyn White from Tetbury said it was a “privilege” to shake the Prince's hand.

“It's the highlight of my life,” she said.

For a full report and pictures from yesterday's event, see next week's Standard.