Charles and Camilla unfurl giant knitted art installation at Dumfries House

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall have unveiled a giant knitted art installation in Scotland as part of a project to “get the world knitting”.

Charles and Camilla were at Dumfries House in Ayrshire where they unfurled the huge patchwork mosaic, which was made up of more than 9,000 handmade squares and weighed 130 kilos, from the historic Adam Bridge.

The heir to the throne personally came up with the idea for the colourful piece, which features squares contributed by individuals and knitting groups from around the world including Australia and the US.

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The concept aims to celebrate knitting as a traditional craft form and highlight the associated mental health benefits that practising the skill can bring.

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, known as the Duke and Duchess of Rothesay when in Scotland, unveil a knitted art installation during a visit to Dumfries House in Ayrshire.

It was organised by Charles’s charity The Prince’s Foundation.

The prince’s most trusted aide Michael Fawcett temporarily stepped down as chief executive of the Foundation at the weekend after being accused of promising to help secure a knighthood and British citizenship for a Saudi billionaire donor.

The Mail on Sunday published a letter from 2017 in which Mr Fawcett reportedly wrote that he was willing to make an application to change businessman Mahfouz Marei Mubarak bin Mahfouz’s honorary CBE to a KBE, and support his application for citizenship.

The letter, written on headed notepaper in Mr Fawcett’s then capacity as chief executive of the Dumfries House Trust, said the applications would be made in response to “the most recent and anticipated support” of the trust.

Clarence House has said Charles has “no knowledge” of the alleged cash-for-honours scandal.

The Metropolitan Police has been asked by the pressure group Republic and ex-Liberal Democrat MP Norman Baker to probe the claims.

The Prince’s Foundation has said it is taking the allegations seriously and is investigating the matter.

On Thursday, to the prompt of a 3-2-1, Charles and Camilla helped heave the display over the bridge.

The prince, who was dressed in a kilt and sporran, said: “I do so really want to offer my congratulations. It’s just wonderful.”

Admiring the display from beneath the bridge, Camila remarked afterwards: “It’s brilliant. The colours are fantastic.”

The team at The Prince’s Foundation, whose headquarters are at Dumfries House, received knitted squares from across the globe, with contributors ranging from nine-year-old Sasha Bolt from Sanquhar to 101-year-old Ethel Carlyle from Troon – who died shortly after contributing her square.

The pieces were sewn together by staff from the Foundation, participants of the charity’s textiles programmes, and prisoners from Cornton Vale Prison in Stirling as part of a rehabilitation initiative.

The patchwork will eventually be dismantled into smaller blankets and distributed to charities in need.

Ashleigh Douglas, future textiles manager for The Prince’s Foundation, said: “Knitting is known to have multiple benefits for the mind and body including reducing depression and anxiety, relieving stress and helping improve motor functions.”

This project forms part of a wider collaboration between the Foundation and The Joseph Ettedgui Charitable Foundation which aims to recreate communities of hand-knitters in the local area with an interest in turning their hobby into a viable business proposition.

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