Prince Charles meets bearded lady on Great Yarmouth visit

The Prince of Wales came face to face with tumblers, acrobats and even a bearded lady as he visited the SeaChange Arts Trust in Great Yarmouth today.

He spent time meeting the gymnasts and performers, before joking on his departure that he hoped they had 'a good physiotherapist to put you together again at the end'.

The SeaChange Arts Trust was founded after a Seeing is Believing initiative in 1996, which was commissioned by The Prince of Wales through Business in the Community.

The prince was welcomed to the York Road studio, which the trust moved into just last week, by performers including a bearded lady and a fortune-telling gypsy.

He took time to speak to artist Chris Day whose fire-breathing sculpture, installed outside the venue for the prince's visit, had been funded by the Prince's Trust to help train young people in the arts.

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Mr Day said: 'He was very intrigued by what he saw. He seemed to see it from a distance and come straight over, and he was asking about how it had come about.'

'Thank you for letting me interrupt your activities,' he said. 'I can't tell you how much I've enjoyed seeing what you are all doing in your training.

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'I only hope that you all have a good physiotherapist to put you together again at the end.

'I'm thrilled to see how SeaChange has grown and made such a big difference to life here in Great Yarmouth.'

Joe Mackintosh, chief executive of SeaChange, paid tribute to the prince's efforts in supporting the group, which promotes cultural activities within Great Yarmouth.

He said the group had plans for 'an ambitious future' and would help deliver 'the biggest year for the arts in Great Yarmouth' in 2012.

Speaking after the visit, he added: 'I think the prince enjoyed his time here, and he particularly liked the circus acts.

'The prince was involved in setting up the SeaChange Arts Trust and he's seen today how it's continuing to thrive and grow.'

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