Suffolk delights ahead for Royal couple

SUFFOLK will play host to The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall today as the Royal couple tour the east of the county.

SUFFOLK was playing host to The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall today as the Royal couple toured the east of the county.

The Prince of Wales was to mark his first official visit to Suffolk in three years by highlighting the work of local shops, producers and green projects as he was shown around venues in Southwold, Blythburgh and Tunstall.

The couple's visit was to begin by giving the Royal seal of approval to Serena's Gallery in Southwold, a local artist whose work is funded by The Prince's Trust, and an ambitious project by Adnams brewery to eventually become carbon neutral. They were also planning to speak to local traders at the town's market.

Next on the schedule was be a stop at the White Hart Inn in Blythburgh, a pub that includes a post office and village shop offering local produce on the same site, to show their support for maintaining the cornerstones of rural life. At the pub, volunteers from the Lowestoft Samaritans were invited to talk about their work.

In the afternoon, the Royal couple were due to visit a special farmers' market as part of their tour of the family-run Snape Maltings site. The Prince of Wales was to be briefed on the redevelopment of the complex before a visit to the internationally renowned Concert Hall to take in a music rehearsal.

Meanwhile, organisers had planned a separate tour of other parts of the Snape Maltings complex for the Duchess.

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Lord Tollemache, Her Majesty's Lord Lieutenant in Suffolk, who was accompanying the couple on their visit, said: “Today will be the culmination of many months planning and discussion with His Royal Highness and with Clarence House.

“It is a great opportunity to show the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall our beautiful county of Suffolk.

“They have been to Bury St Edmunds and Lavenham when we celebrated the completion of the tower of St Edmundsbury Cathedral in 2005.

“I have always wanted them to see east Suffolk and the magic of Southwold and the Suffolk coast and to meet a good cross-section of those who produce our wonderful local food, for which Suffolk is so famous.”

He added: “I am sure there will be many people who wish to welcome the Prince of Wales and in particular those who live in Southwold, Blythburgh and Tunstall.”

SUFFOLK police were prepared for a busy day today with the Royal couple visiting the area at the same time as the Prime Minister.

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall's visit to east Suffolk came as Prime Minister Gordon Brown is holidaying near Southwold, meaning the force has two large public figure operations on its hands.

But a Suffolk police spokeswoman said the force was totally prepared to handle the joint operations.

“We believe there will be considerable interest in the (Royal) visit so a lot of planning has gone on before the event to make sure everything goes smoothly.

“It is fair to say it has been a very busy time for us but it is nothing we cannot cope with. We cannot comment on the exact arrangements but a police escort will be in place for it and we have a number of things we do for a royal visit, with this one being slightly bigger than normal.”