Thursday, 25 February 2016

Charlie comes to Upton

Upton is the next village along from Acle and when their pub
and village shop were threatened with closure all the locals rallied
round and raised funds (including a grant from the Prince's
Trust) and bought the place which they now run as a co-operative.
And very successful it is too,  In fact they are such an
example to us all that HRH The Prince of Wales decided
to pay them a visit yesterday afternoon and see for himself.

All the local dogs had been on stand-bye for hours
just waiting for a glimpse. 

My mate Annie and I are always up for a spot of stalking so
despite the cold we wrapped up warm and set off to the
White Horse to get a piece of the action and we certainly
weren't disappointed.

Villagers climbed up their hedges to get a better view.

By the time we arrived quite a sizeable crowd had already gathered
as well as the local paparrazi and august members of the local
council and their wives who were quietly freezing their socks off
in their posh frocks.

One of several police outriders

Chains of office were clearly the dress code for the day, some
flaunted ostentatiously while others were more discretely hidden
 beneath the lapels of snug camel coats.  It's a good job Annie and
I were tucked away among the local peasants in our more
humble attire of woolly hats and mittens.

Coming ready or not!

There were plenty of "men in suits" keeping a very good eye
on the crowd and when one of them told me not to dare surge
forward when the Prince arrived I really wish he hadn't because
it had planted the idea very firmly in my mind and I'm an
impulsive person by nature.  Thankfully I managed to stay in control 
of my urges although when the moment came it was quite a struggle.

The leader of Broadland District Council.
Doesn't he look like Francis Urquhart from Michael
Dobb's book House of Cards?  I couldn't possibly comment!

First came the noise, then the police motorbikes
and then the big black limo and hey presto out got Charlie.
He didn't waste a second before he was about his royal duties -
pressing flesh, waving to the crowd and generally being
prince charming.  He had a quick wizz round the little shop
and then into the pub for a swift half and a mardle with
the elite who had all gathered inside.

Shake a few hands

Pose for the press

Into the shop

At this point Annie and I were all "royaled out" and it was
getting very taters around the extremities so we decided to
call it a day and head back home ahead of the mob.

Out of the shop and into the pub.  Phew!

An interesting experience and worth getting cold for. 
I've never seem HRH in the flesh before and for
some reason I expected him to be taller.
Perhaps a crown one day will do the trick.

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