Thankfully the wild, wintery blast from the South had passed. Replaced by glorious sunshine that warmed both the palace walls and the Prince’s heart. HRH stepped out with Lady W, joy resonating in his every step. Together with luxuriating in the new smells laid bare with the past rains. The precinct was quieter than usual, and for most of the way, they enjoyed the muted sounds of nature. But as they tackled the last rise, the sound of swords clashing became apparent.

The Prince immediately alert. Swordfighting practice? There were no lulls, nor the usual urging of the swordmasters. Instead, a consistent grating, slashing of the blades. Which as they came closer, was accompanied by a rugged, mechanical sound. Like an engine. The blades glinted slightly in the sun, as the sword rose and fell. And HRH was a little disappointed. There was no swordplay, just an intrepid gardener trimming the camellia hedge with a motorised hedge trimmer. He sighed. No matter, there had been sunshine, a walk, and some play. So definitely a very good day!