THE Prince of Wales delighted families, staff, supporters and volunteers when he greeted and chatted to them at Ty Hafan children’s hospice.

Prince Charles, who is patron of the charity, spent more than an hour touring the facilities on the first of three royal engagements taking place today in south Wales.

Tŷ Hafan is one of the UK’s leading paediatric palliative care charities and is the only children’s hospice in south Wales.

On his visit, the prince was shown the facilities used by children with life-limiting conditions and saw some of the technological advances that Tŷ Hafan has incorporated in their new building.

He also had the opportunity to meet an artist who has embarked on a project to record the names of the children at Ty Hafan into birdsong, and took time to privately meet families with children experiencing end-of-life care.

Mum Nicola Smith, of Llantwit Fardre, whose son Lewis, eight, has tuberous sclerosis complex, said: “He was lovely. He just asked us about Lewis.”

Lisa Davies, of Swansea, chatted to the prince with son Cameron Davies, 16, and daughter Daisie Robinson, nine.

Ms Davies said: “It was very surreal, but lovely. He asked a lot and wanted to engage with us about the facility.”

Avid Swansea FC supporter Cameron, who suffers from duchenne muscular dystrophy, discussed football with the prince, while sister Daisie talked to him about street dancing and the Spice Girls – who he recalled he had met some years ago.

Rebecca Griffiths, of Fforest, Carmarthenshire, mother to quadriplegic cerebral palsy sufferer Will, 13, said she wanted to tell the prince about the excellent care her son had received at Ty Hafan.

She said: “I know people think it’s a hospice and depressing, but it’s not. It’s just such a happy place. The support network is there."

Ms Griffiths' other son, Osian, said he gets to spend quality time with his brother at the base and added: “I think Ty Hafan is the best hospice on the planet.”

On his last visit in 2001, Prince Charles officially opened the hospice’s memorial garden and this year he saw how the site is benefitting from a multi-million pound refurbishment.

He concluded the tour after receiving a gift of three miniature Ty Hafan Snowdogs from eight-year-old Carol, which featured in a recent fundraising and awareness campaign run by the charity, before unveiling a plaque marking the visit.