PICTURE GALLERY: Prince Charles visits Truly Local shop in Stalham

Organic farmer Prince Charles was in his element when he dropped by for a leisurely 20-minute browse around Stalham shop Truly Local this afternoon.

The Prince, whose Highgrove estate home in Gloucestershire includes his famous Duchy Home Farm, discussed the merits of different pig breeds with suppliers who keep the High Street business stocked with goods caught, reared, produced, processed, created or fermented within a 35-mile radius.

And he left with the ingredients for a royal savoury omelette supper after selecting two sorts of cheese and half a dozen duck eggs to take away.

He was also presented with Walcott daffodils for his wife, the Duchess of Cornwall, and Norfolk-made Pooch biscuits for her dog.

The Prince caused loud laughter when he misheard Truly Local director Pauline Crudgington tell him that the dog biscuits were made from 'human-standard ingredients,' replying: 'I thought you said from 'human ingredients!''

Monday afternoons in February do not normally draw the crowds in Stalham but 200-300 people lined the town centre to greet the Prince whose arrival 45 minutes later than planned meant that schoolchildren were able to join the spectators.

Among the crowd was a reporting team from Stalham High School's Stalham HighLights magazine.

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Sam Bellerby, Megan Whiting, George Read and Kieron Wheeler were armed with cameras and notebooks to record the visit in detail for their schoolmates.

But four-year-old Riley, dressed in a mini policeman's uniform, was actually more excited by the large police presence than the royal visitor, according to his mum Lindsey Ashfield, of Bank Street, Stalham.

'He's been taking pictures of the police and just wanted to be here to see them,' she admitted.

Town councillor Elizabeth Jackson used her initiative and popped into a nearby High Street shop to buy a length of Union Jack bunting which she broke up and distributed among the crowds to wave.

And another of Truly Local's suppliers, fudge maker Ricky Slade, from Sea Palling, caught the Prince's attention in the street and handed over two packets of the freshly-made treat.

'He thanked me and said rum and raisin was his favourite,' said Mr Slade.

The Prince also accepted cards addressed to him by schoolgirls Olivia Loton-Murrell, eight, from North Walsham, and 11-year-old Chloe Gunner, from Stalham.

The pair had written to the Prince telling him about their royal project work at school.

His Royal Highness personally chose to add the stop-off to his planned tour of Great Yarmouth and visit to the Priscilla Bacon Lodge in Norwich after receiving a letter from Truly Local customer Cherry Lilley who met the Prince outside and thanked him for granting her request.

'He had a lovely velvety voice,' said Mrs Lilley, 69, from The Staithe, Stalham.

Shop manager Mick Sims, who is also one of the four directors of the not-for-profit business launched last March, said the Prince had been intrigued to find out how they made the project work and had mentioned that his car had driven past Stalham's Tesco.

'He asked if people shopped with us as an alternative to Tesco and I said that we always kept our fresh veg and basics prices cheaper,' said Mr Sims.

He added: 'This visit has certainly put us on the map and set us up for our next 12 months' trading.'