Prince Charles gets a warm welcome throughout the city of Ely - and one plucky onlooker even gave him a cheeky and belated birthday peck on the cheek

PUBLISHED: 18:52 27 November 2018

The Prince of Wales in Ely. During the visit he met residents of an almshouse, attended a reception at Poet's House for community groups, visited the stained glass museum and undertook a walkabout of Ely farmers' market. he was joined for some of the visit by the Duchess of Cornwall.  Picture: TERRY HARRIS

The Prince of Wales in Ely. During the visit he met residents of an almshouse, attended a reception at Poet's House for community groups, visited the stained glass museum and undertook a walkabout of Ely farmers' market. he was joined for some of the visit by the Duchess of Cornwall. Picture: TERRY HARRIS

© Terry Harris

It may have been a chilly start to the day in Ely but Prince Charles brought warmth and charisma to the city – even bagging himself a peck on the cheek from a fan.

The Prince of Wales in Ely. During the visit he met residents of an almshouse, attended a reception at Poet's House for community groups, visited the stained glass museum and undertook a walkabout of Ely farmers' market. he was joined for some of the visit by the Duchess of Cornwall.  Picture: TERRY HARRIS The Prince of Wales in Ely. During the visit he met residents of an almshouse, attended a reception at Poet's House for community groups, visited the stained glass museum and undertook a walkabout of Ely farmers' market. he was joined for some of the visit by the Duchess of Cornwall. Picture: TERRY HARRIS

His Royal Highness instantly greeted dozens waiting outside of Thomas Parsons Square with a cheery ‘good morning’ as he stepped out of the royal Bentley to the chime of bells from St Mary’s Church.

The Prince of Wales in Ely. During the visit he met residents of an almshouse, attended a reception at Poet's House for community groups, visited the stained glass museum and undertook a walkabout of Ely farmers' market. he was joined for some of the visit by the Duchess of Cornwall.  Picture: TERRY HARRIS The Prince of Wales in Ely. During the visit he met residents of an almshouse, attended a reception at Poet's House for community groups, visited the stained glass museum and undertook a walkabout of Ely farmers' market. he was joined for some of the visit by the Duchess of Cornwall. Picture: TERRY HARRIS

First stop was a visit to the Thomas Parsons’ Charity almshouses, of which he is the patron.

The Prince of Wales in Ely. During the visit he met residents of an almshouse, attended a reception at Poet's House for community groups, visited the stained glass museum and undertook a walkabout of Ely farmers' market. he was joined for some of the visit by the Duchess of Cornwall.  Picture: TERRY HARRIS The Prince of Wales in Ely. During the visit he met residents of an almshouse, attended a reception at Poet's House for community groups, visited the stained glass museum and undertook a walkabout of Ely farmers' market. he was joined for some of the visit by the Duchess of Cornwall. Picture: TERRY HARRIS

“We’re not all going to fit inside I don’t think,” he said jokingly to crowds.

The Prince of Wales in Ely. During the visit he met residents of an almshouse, attended a reception at Poet's House for community groups, visited the stained glass museum and undertook a walkabout of Ely farmers' market. he was joined for some of the visit by the Duchess of Cornwall.  Picture: TERRY HARRIS The Prince of Wales in Ely. During the visit he met residents of an almshouse, attended a reception at Poet's House for community groups, visited the stained glass museum and undertook a walkabout of Ely farmers' market. he was joined for some of the visit by the Duchess of Cornwall. Picture: TERRY HARRIS

Residents peered out of the windows as a contingent of civic dignitaries waited outside, including Mayor of Ely Cllr Mike Rouse, Combined Authority Mayor James Palmer and East Cambridgeshire District Council Chairman Peter Creswell.

The Prince of Wales in Ely. During the visit he met residents of an almshouse, attended a reception at Poet's House for community groups, visited the stained glass museum and undertook a walkabout of Ely farmers' market. he was joined for some of the visit by the Duchess of Cornwall.  Picture: TERRY HARRIS The Prince of Wales in Ely. During the visit he met residents of an almshouse, attended a reception at Poet's House for community groups, visited the stained glass museum and undertook a walkabout of Ely farmers' market. he was joined for some of the visit by the Duchess of Cornwall. Picture: TERRY HARRIS

Prince Charles was led into the home of June Hewes, who has lived in one of the almshouses for 10 years.

The Prince of Wales in Ely. During the visit he met residents of an almshouse, attended a reception at Poet's House for community groups, visited the stained glass museum and undertook a walkabout of Ely farmers' market. he was joined for some of the visit by the Duchess of Cornwall.  Picture: TERRY HARRIS The Prince of Wales in Ely. During the visit he met residents of an almshouse, attended a reception at Poet's House for community groups, visited the stained glass museum and undertook a walkabout of Ely farmers' market. he was joined for some of the visit by the Duchess of Cornwall. Picture: TERRY HARRIS

Once inside, he admired her living room and had a tour of the kitchen and bathroom.

The Prince of Wales in Ely. During the visit he met residents of an almshouse, attended a reception at Poet's House for community groups, visited the stained glass museum and undertook a walkabout of Ely farmers' market. he was joined for some of the visit by the Duchess of Cornwall.  Picture: TERRY HARRIS The Prince of Wales in Ely. During the visit he met residents of an almshouse, attended a reception at Poet's House for community groups, visited the stained glass museum and undertook a walkabout of Ely farmers' market. he was joined for some of the visit by the Duchess of Cornwall. Picture: TERRY HARRIS

“This is not a bad little place is it and they are all nice neighbours too, I hope,” he said.

The Prince of Wales in Ely. During the visit he met residents of an almshouse, attended a reception at Poet's House for community groups, visited the stained glass museum and undertook a walkabout of Ely farmers' market. he was joined for some of the visit by the Duchess of Cornwall.  Picture: TERRY HARRIS The Prince of Wales in Ely. During the visit he met residents of an almshouse, attended a reception at Poet's House for community groups, visited the stained glass museum and undertook a walkabout of Ely farmers' market. he was joined for some of the visit by the Duchess of Cornwall. Picture: TERRY HARRIS

Speaking after the visit, June said: “That was wonderful but very nerve-wracking in advance as I’ve had to do a lot of cleaning in preparation. It’s not everyday you get a royal guest.”

The Prince of Wales in Ely. During the visit he met residents of an almshouse, attended a reception at Poet's House for community groups, visited the stained glass museum and undertook a walkabout of Ely farmers' market. he was joined for some of the visit by the Duchess of Cornwall.  Picture: TERRY HARRIS The Prince of Wales in Ely. During the visit he met residents of an almshouse, attended a reception at Poet's House for community groups, visited the stained glass museum and undertook a walkabout of Ely farmers' market. he was joined for some of the visit by the Duchess of Cornwall. Picture: TERRY HARRIS

Across the road at Poet’s House, Prince Charles - joined by Lord Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire Julie Spence - shared a cup of tea with each table in the dining room while speaking to more residents of the almshouses.

The Prince of Wales in Ely. During the visit he met residents of an almshouse, attended a reception at Poet's House for community groups, visited the stained glass museum and undertook a walkabout of Ely farmers' market. he was joined for some of the visit by the Duchess of Cornwall.  Picture: TERRY HARRIS The Prince of Wales in Ely. During the visit he met residents of an almshouse, attended a reception at Poet's House for community groups, visited the stained glass museum and undertook a walkabout of Ely farmers' market. he was joined for some of the visit by the Duchess of Cornwall. Picture: TERRY HARRIS

“You must have all been waiting very patiently and I would like to wish you a very merry early Christmas,” he said.

The Prince of Wales in Ely. During the visit he met residents of an almshouse, attended a reception at Poet's House for community groups, visited the stained glass museum and undertook a walkabout of Ely farmers' market. he was joined for some of the visit by the Duchess of Cornwall.  Picture: TERRY HARRIS The Prince of Wales in Ely. During the visit he met residents of an almshouse, attended a reception at Poet's House for community groups, visited the stained glass museum and undertook a walkabout of Ely farmers' market. he was joined for some of the visit by the Duchess of Cornwall. Picture: TERRY HARRIS

Vera Ford, 91, who has lived in an almshouse for five years, said: “He was so nice and asked me about Christmas and my holiday plans and I would be quite happy for him to be king one day.”

The Prince of Wales in Ely. During the visit he met residents of an almshouse, attended a reception at Poet's House for community groups, visited the stained glass museum and undertook a walkabout of Ely farmers' market. he was joined for some of the visit by the Duchess of Cornwall.  Picture: TERRY HARRIS The Prince of Wales in Ely. During the visit he met residents of an almshouse, attended a reception at Poet's House for community groups, visited the stained glass museum and undertook a walkabout of Ely farmers' market. he was joined for some of the visit by the Duchess of Cornwall. Picture: TERRY HARRIS

John Moore, who works for the Thomas Parsons’ Charity, said: “What a friendly and nice man, he was very interested in speaking to everyone about their houses and he was extremely down to earth.”

The Prince of Wales in Ely. During the visit he met residents of an almshouse, attended a reception at Poet's House for community groups, visited the stained glass museum and undertook a walkabout of Ely farmers' market. he was joined for some of the visit by the Duchess of Cornwall.  Picture: TERRY HARRIS The Prince of Wales in Ely. During the visit he met residents of an almshouse, attended a reception at Poet's House for community groups, visited the stained glass museum and undertook a walkabout of Ely farmers' market. he was joined for some of the visit by the Duchess of Cornwall. Picture: TERRY HARRIS

From there His Royal Highness was led to Ely Cathedral, where children lined the grass waving flags and the crowds cheered.

The Prince of Wales in Ely. During the visit he met residents of an almshouse, attended a reception at Poet's House for community groups, visited the stained glass museum and undertook a walkabout of Ely farmers' market. he was joined for some of the visit by the Duchess of Cornwall.  Picture: TERRY HARRIS The Prince of Wales in Ely. During the visit he met residents of an almshouse, attended a reception at Poet's House for community groups, visited the stained glass museum and undertook a walkabout of Ely farmers' market. he was joined for some of the visit by the Duchess of Cornwall. Picture: TERRY HARRIS

Upon entering the cathedral one lady dressed to impress in pink persuaded Prince Charles to come over.

The Prince of Wales in Ely. During the visit he met residents of an almshouse, attended a reception at Poet's House for community groups, visited the stained glass museum and undertook a walkabout of Ely farmers' market. he was joined for some of the visit by the Duchess of Cornwall.  Picture: TERRY HARRIS The Prince of Wales in Ely. During the visit he met residents of an almshouse, attended a reception at Poet's House for community groups, visited the stained glass museum and undertook a walkabout of Ely farmers' market. he was joined for some of the visit by the Duchess of Cornwall. Picture: TERRY HARRIS

“Happy belated birthday!” she shouted and gave him a cheeky kiss on the cheek as the crowds whooped.

The Prince of Wales in Ely. During the visit he met residents of an almshouse, attended a reception at Poet's House for community groups, visited the stained glass museum and undertook a walkabout of Ely farmers' market. he was joined for some of the visit by the Duchess of Cornwall.  Picture: TERRY HARRIS The Prince of Wales in Ely. During the visit he met residents of an almshouse, attended a reception at Poet's House for community groups, visited the stained glass museum and undertook a walkabout of Ely farmers' market. he was joined for some of the visit by the Duchess of Cornwall. Picture: TERRY HARRIS

Inside the cathedral he was introduced to Dr Jasmine Allen, curator of the Stained Glass Museum, and shown various collections before being gifted with a piece of handmade glass with a red squirrel on.

The Prince of Wales in Ely. During the visit he met residents of an almshouse, attended a reception at Poet's House for community groups, visited the stained glass museum and undertook a walkabout of Ely farmers' market. he was joined for some of the visit by the Duchess of Cornwall.  Picture: TERRY HARRIS The Prince of Wales in Ely. During the visit he met residents of an almshouse, attended a reception at Poet's House for community groups, visited the stained glass museum and undertook a walkabout of Ely farmers' market. he was joined for some of the visit by the Duchess of Cornwall. Picture: TERRY HARRIS

He has been a patron since 1997 and last visited in 2000.

The Prince of Wales in Ely. During the visit he met residents of an almshouse, attended a reception at Poet's House for community groups, visited the stained glass museum and undertook a walkabout of Ely farmers' market. he was joined for some of the visit by the Duchess of Cornwall.  Picture: TERRY HARRIS The Prince of Wales in Ely. During the visit he met residents of an almshouse, attended a reception at Poet's House for community groups, visited the stained glass museum and undertook a walkabout of Ely farmers' market. he was joined for some of the visit by the Duchess of Cornwall. Picture: TERRY HARRIS

Children from The Lantern Primary School, who were art ambassadors, were eager to meet the prince too, as they took it in turns to show him their pieces made in their glass fusion session.

The Prince of Wales in Ely. During the visit he met residents of an almshouse, attended a reception at Poet's House for community groups, visited the stained glass museum and undertook a walkabout of Ely farmers' market. he was joined for some of the visit by the Duchess of Cornwall.  Picture: TERRY HARRIS The Prince of Wales in Ely. During the visit he met residents of an almshouse, attended a reception at Poet's House for community groups, visited the stained glass museum and undertook a walkabout of Ely farmers' market. he was joined for some of the visit by the Duchess of Cornwall. Picture: TERRY HARRIS

“I hope nobody has cut their fingers yet,” Prince Charles joked as the pupils laughed and were instantly put at ease.

The Prince of Wales in Ely. During the visit he met residents of an almshouse, attended a reception at Poet's House for community groups, visited the stained glass museum and undertook a walkabout of Ely farmers' market. he was joined for some of the visit by the Duchess of Cornwall.  Picture: TERRY HARRIS The Prince of Wales in Ely. During the visit he met residents of an almshouse, attended a reception at Poet's House for community groups, visited the stained glass museum and undertook a walkabout of Ely farmers' market. he was joined for some of the visit by the Duchess of Cornwall. Picture: TERRY HARRIS

Before moving on to meet traders in Ely Market, he met with members of the cathedral in the Lady Chapel and was greeted to a musical arrival before unveiling a plaque, cutting a cake and signing the guest book.

The Prince of Wales in Ely. During the visit he met residents of an almshouse, attended a reception at Poet's House for community groups, visited the stained glass museum and undertook a walkabout of Ely farmers' market. he was joined for some of the visit by the Duchess of Cornwall.  Picture: TERRY HARRIS The Prince of Wales in Ely. During the visit he met residents of an almshouse, attended a reception at Poet's House for community groups, visited the stained glass museum and undertook a walkabout of Ely farmers' market. he was joined for some of the visit by the Duchess of Cornwall. Picture: TERRY HARRIS

Emma Joy-Staines handed over a gift of a teddy bear and colouring book from the charity Steel Bones for Prince Charles’s grandchildren.

The Prince of Wales in Ely. During the visit he met residents of an almshouse, attended a reception at Poet's House for community groups, visited the stained glass museum and undertook a walkabout of Ely farmers' market. he was joined for some of the visit by the Duchess of Cornwall.  Picture: TERRY HARRIS The Prince of Wales in Ely. During the visit he met residents of an almshouse, attended a reception at Poet's House for community groups, visited the stained glass museum and undertook a walkabout of Ely farmers' market. he was joined for some of the visit by the Duchess of Cornwall. Picture: TERRY HARRIS

“Oh this is lovely, thank you so much,” he said.

Royal visit to Ely by Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall. Picture: Geoffrey PietersRoyal visit to Ely by Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall. Picture: Geoffrey Pieters

While crowds gathered at Ely Market, police cordoned off the road and the Farmers Market prepared to showcase some of their best produce.

Royal visit to Ely by Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall. Picture: Geoffrey PietersRoyal visit to Ely by Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall. Picture: Geoffrey Pieters

The Duchess of Cornwall, Camilla Parker Bowles, also joined His Royal Highness for the last leg of the tour.

Royal visit to Ely by Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall. Picture: Geoffrey PietersRoyal visit to Ely by Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall. Picture: Geoffrey Pieters

As Christmas carols were sung by school children, they were led around the square to see cakes, fish, meat and vegan treats on display.

Royal visit to Ely by Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall. Picture: Geoffrey PietersRoyal visit to Ely by Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall. Picture: Geoffrey Pieters

Lizzi Flaherty, who runs FOOD! By Lizzi, has been based at the market for just over five years.

Royal visit to Ely by Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall. Picture: Geoffrey PietersRoyal visit to Ely by Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall. Picture: Geoffrey Pieters

“It was a great opportunity to say thank you to him,” she said.

Royal visit to Ely by Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall. Picture: Geoffrey PietersRoyal visit to Ely by Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall. Picture: Geoffrey Pieters

“I was a Princes Trust young ambassador and it enabled me to be where I am today.”

Royal visit to Ely by Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall. Picture: Geoffrey PietersRoyal visit to Ely by Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall. Picture: Geoffrey Pieters

Fellow stallholder Sara Dixon, from Hawkwell Herbs, also said that she shared an enlightening chat with His Royal Highness.

Royal visit to Ely by Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall. Picture: Geoffrey PietersRoyal visit to Ely by Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall. Picture: Geoffrey Pieters

“I told him how he was a hero of mine when I was an environmental lawyer. We discussed the use of plastics, herbs and the bamboo pots and recycled pallets I have on the stall.

Royal visit to Ely by Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall. Picture: Geoffrey PietersRoyal visit to Ely by Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall. Picture: Geoffrey Pieters

“He was lovely, very charming and easy to get along with.”

Royal visit to Ely by Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall. Picture: Geoffrey PietersRoyal visit to Ely by Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall. Picture: Geoffrey Pieters

A gift of a ‘Brussels sprout handmade wreath’ was also presented to Prince Charles from Ely hero, Ruth Marley, who runs the Witchford-based Re-Imagine Resource Centre.

Royal visit to Ely by Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall. Picture: Geoffrey PietersRoyal visit to Ely by Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall. Picture: Geoffrey Pieters

Both of the royal guests departed Ely just after 2pm to make their way across Cambridgeshire to Wisbech.

Royal visit to Ely by Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall. Picture: Geoffrey PietersRoyal visit to Ely by Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall. Picture: Geoffrey Pieters

“What a successful visit and we wouldn’t have expected anything less than him being a lovely chap,” added Mayor of Ely Mike Rouse.

Royal visit to Ely by Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall. Picture: Geoffrey PietersRoyal visit to Ely by Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall. Picture: Geoffrey Pieters

Royal visit to Ely by Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall. Picture: Geoffrey PietersRoyal visit to Ely by Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall. Picture: Geoffrey Pieters

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