Town ready for a Royal night out

STOWMARKET: Pubs, clubs and takeaways in one Suffolk town were today preparing themselves for the Royal family’s wild child.

Prince Harry has been handed his provisional wings after completing his Army Pilots Course and has now decided he wants to fly Apache attack helicopters, stationed at Wattisham Airfield.

The Prince will head to Suffolk after he completes another eight months’ training but neighbouring Stowmarket’s night-time economy is already looking forward to his arrival.

Today, publicans and fast-food outlets promised the 25-year-old a warm welcome.

Leanne Paulley, of the Crown pub in Crown Street, said she would be delighted if the Prince decided to pop in and take a turn on the karaoke machine.

“What would he choose? It would have to be Queen’s We Will Rock You. But the locals would probably just think it was a joke.

“I don’t think we’ve ever had anyone famous in here. I think my mum Janet, for one, would love it.”

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Ibraham Yildirin, of Wolsey Road takeaway Pizza King, said if the Prince stopped off for a late night bite on his way back to Wattisham, he would certainly get a free deep dish.

He said: “If he came we would appreciate it and I would be so pleased we would give him a free pizza, and one to any of his friends.

“I think we’d be surprised and if he would be happy to have a picture taken, we would put it on the wall.”

The Prince – known as Lieutenant Harry Wales in the military – described the chance to fly Apaches as “a seriously daunting prospect” but said he could not wait to get started.

He said: “It is a huge honour to have the chance to train on the Apache, which is an awesome helicopter. There is still a huge mountain for me to climb if I am to pass the Apache training course.

“To be honest, I think it will be one of the biggest challenges in my life so far.

“I am very determined, though, as I do not want to let down people who have shown faith in my ability to fly this aircraft on operations.”

After completing his final tests last month, Prince Harry had been assessed by instructors as capable of flying Apache or Lynx helicopters.

A spokesman for Clarence House, which represents Prince Charles, his children, and the Duchess of Cornwall, said the final decision had been taken by Army Air Corps commanders who judged that Prince Harry’s skills and flying abilities “best suited the Apache helicopter”, based with 3 and 4 Regiments Army Air Corps at Wattisham.

Last month it was announced that Prince William would be posted by the Royal Air Force to RAF Valley in Anglesey, Wales, if he successfully completes his Search and Rescue pilot training.

n Would you fancy bumping into the Prince on a night out in Suffolk? Write to Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send your views by e-mail to: eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.