Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, were entertained by children involved in a theatrical programme yesterday (28.01.08).

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The couple visited London’s Unicorn Theatre to witness how TheatreQuest – a project to introduce children to theatre set up by Charles’ organisation The Prince’s Foundation for Children and the Arts – was working in practice.

Various children from 13 schools around the UK put on a fashion parade and acted in plays exploring various environmental issues for Charles and Camilla.

The youngsters performed excerpts from Jamila Gavin’s play A Singer from the Desert Came, a story set in the future where Earth has been destroyed by mankind’s way of life.

The 59-year-old prince later spoke to the children and explained why he thought TheatreQuest was important. He said: “You can see I do have my uses, to allow you to get away from your lessons! But hopefully this little play will remind us of the importance of not making a complete mess of our planet.

“It seemed to me it was so important for as many children as possible to have experience of our cultural and artistic heritage. The arts are a magical world which help us to be defined as genuinely human and above all, civilised.”

The TheatreQuest programme, which was started last September, has helped over 1,300 children across the UK engage with their local theatres and help with set design and costume making.