Prince of Wales pops into The Prince of Wales for a free drink


Prince Charles has enjoyed a free drink after paying an unscheduled visit to a pub called The Prince of Wales.

Charles and wife the Duchess of Cornwall popped into the pub while visiting Congleton, Cheshire, on Wednesday.

The Prince, who sampled some of the beer, told drinkers: "If there's anywhere I can get a free drink it's a pub called the Prince of Wales."

Pub regular Steve Pullen, 64, said: "He was asking about local breweries.

"We did know he was visiting today but we didn't know much about it so we weren't expecting to meet him."

Kevin Brindle, 53, added: "He was asking about the food and whether it was a good place to eat here.

"We recommended a beer to him."

At a reception at the town hall, Charles and Camilla met volunteers from organisations, charities and initiatives.

In a short speech, the Prince of Wales said he had been "thrilled" to join them to celebrate 700 years since the town first appointed a mayor.

He said: "I've greatly enjoyed getting the brief opportunity to meet so many of you who I know do so much.

"Thank you so all so much for all the marvellous things you do, so often unseen and unheard."

He added: "And at least on this occasion I managed to get a free drink at a pub called the Prince of Wales."

Charles and Camilla were greeted with a cardboard cut-out of the Queen when they arrived at community interest company The Old Saw Mill in the town.

The figure, on display in the window of a house, was pointed out by people who had gathered to see Charles and Camilla, with onlooker Victoria Marchant asking the Prince: "Have you seen your mother?"

Ms Marchant, 47, who was with daughter Leila, 10, and Frankie, six, said: "Camilla didn't see her at first but then said 'oh yes, there she is'.

"She was laughing, she thought it was funny.

"The girls gave her some daffodils and she said it was the first signs of spring."

In The Old Saw Mill, Charles and Camilla met volunteers who produce Congleton apple juice and cider, made from windfall fruit.

Martin Robinson, 55, said: "Charles tried the apple juice and he said it was nice.

"He was interested in what we do.

"It's strange because you've seen him on the telly since you were a kid and now he's just there."

Earlier in the day, Camilla met female inmates at HMP Styal, where she learned how the organisations
Books Unlocked programme is helping prisoners to develop a love of reading and improve basic literacy skills.

She also met prisoners working at The Clink restaurant, adjacent to the jail, where women with less than 18 months to serve are given the chance to earn City & Guilds NVQ qualifications in food service and food preparation and then aided with finding employment within the hospitality industry on their release.