Butcher salutes Prince Charles' interest

Butchers see all sorts come through their doors, but not many can say they had the future king pop around, like one Suffolk butcher.

Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla, were visiting the seaside town of Southwold as part of a tour of local businesses and dropped in at butcher's KE Hutsons to speak to staff about the industry. Shop manager Colin Hicks said: "He came in, I shook his hand and I said what we did and where we got the meat from."

The store, which is over 300 years old, attracts many recognisable faces - including writer and director Richard Curtis and former politician turned Radio 4 resident wit Clement Freud - but the Prince of Wales' main concern was what the future holds for Britain's butchers. "He was genuinely interested and inquiring whether we get more young people into the trade," said Hicks.

The Duchess of Cornwall, also in attendance, talked to some of the younger members of the staff and the couple where presented with a number of gifts, including commemorative Royal Anglican Regiment chutney.

The Prince and Duchess are not the only well-known tourists visiting the area at the moment, with none other than prime minister Gordon Brown and his wife Sarah staying near the seaside resort. Hicks said we would welcome the Labour premier anytime into the shop, and was sure he would be only too glad to see a friendly face at the moment.

"I'd take money off anyone, I'd be pleased to take money off him."