It was a day for the senses yesterday, as Prince Charles and Camilla visited the damaged communities of Yorkshire affected by flooding over Christmas.
The Royal couple began their day at The New Inn, Stamford Bridge, which was hit by the burst banks of the River Derwent last year.
As the pub goes under renovation work, landlady Helen Ambler showed Charles and Camilla around and explained how they faced the rising waters on Boxing Day: three inches of water was already in the building early in the morning, and sandbags did not help.
“But by 10am there was a good foot-and-a-half and by 1pm there was 3ft of water. It came up so quickly. And then it was just coming through the floor.
“It wasn’t the actual river water, it was the drains and the sewage coming up. It was awful. It wasn’t pleasant but we got through it,” she said.
It was here that The Prince of Wales was feeling generous and offered to buy all those in the pub a drink the next time he came.
“He offered to buy the whole pub a drink. He asked if the next time he’s passing, could he pop in,” Ambler said.
Hundreds of people had lined the streets to see the Prince and Duchess, with one joking that he thought they were the first Royal visitors to Stamford Bridge since 1066 – when King Harold famously marched to the village to defeat the Norwegian army before turning south to face William of Normandy.
From Stamford Bridge, it was to Harrogate to visit the International Festival in its 50th year. The couple arrived at Royal Hall greeted by members of the Bread and Butter Theatre Company dressed as giant flowerpots.
Inside, Charles and Camilla were treated to some performances including a soprano and clarinettist. Prince Charles is patron of the festival.
The Prince gave a short speech as he unveiled a plaque to mark to occasion, saying he was ‘immensely proud’ of the festival, and that he will ‘have to organise myself better in future in order to reach Harrogate in July to see a great deal more that the festival does’.
The next venue for the couple was Sir Robert Ogden Macmillan Centre in Harrogate District Hospital, where Charles and Camilla visited patients and staff. The Prince of Wales is patron of Macmillan and the pair were shown around the centre.
Lastly, it was on to Betty’s and Taylor’s of Harrogate, a family run business which owns the likes of Yorkshire Tea. Charles and his wife were taken to the tea tasting rooms, and had a go at finding their favourite cuppa: the Prince preferred something a bit stronger, while the Duchess opted for a light blend.
The Prince got the giggles as he tried to perfect the slurping technique needed for tea tasting.
Pasta making was also on the agenda at Betty’s Cookery School, where a class of young chefs were learning to make the dish. The Royal couple had a go themselves, before moving on to icing Easter eggs.
Charles feigned annoyance with his wife as she told him how to do it: “I know! I know!” he said, both laughing to the cameras.
Prince George and Princess Charlotte were given personalised eggs, before the company presented the two with a special cake.