Prince Charles praises ‘absolutely irresistible’ gin on market visit

The Prince of Wales sipped a sloe and cherry gin and described it as “absolutely irresistible” as he spoke to traders during a visit to a market in wintry Cambridgeshire.

He and the Duchess of Cornwall toured stalls in Ely, with both stopping to sample apple juice, Camilla buying some brownies and Charles pausing beside a gin stall.

“Shall I try a drop?” he said, before laughing that it was served in the “biggest glass, big as my whole face!”

He called the gin “absolutely irresistible”, thanking stallholder Nancy Decleir and wishing her a happy Christmas as she gave him a bottle of the spirit.

The Prince of Wales chats to a stallholder in Ely Market Credit: Steve Parsons/PA

Ms Decleir, who founded Ely Gin in the market seven years ago with her husband, James Clark, said afterwards: “What an honour to be able to present your product to such an audience.

“It’s incredible.”

The Duchess of Cornwall browses one of the stall in Ely Market Credit: Steve Parsons/PA

She added: “He tried it neat, he enjoyed it, and I think, with these temperatures today, he can definitely use it.”

Charles and Camilla took time to speak to crowds of well-wishers as they carried out a series of engagements.

Krista Richardson, 34, of Littleport, was with her five-month-old daughter, Alexis, who squeezed Charles’s finger as he spoke to them.

Five-month-old Alexis Richardson squeezes Charles’s finger as he visits Ely Market Place Credit: Steve Parsons/ PA

“He just said she was bundled up really warm, wrapped up really warm, then she grabbed his finger and he said ‘She’s got a very strong grip’,” she said, adding it was “lovely”.

Maddy Boning, aged three, who was with a group of children from Rainbow Pre-School in Ely, gave Camilla a bunch of flowers.

Debbie Reed, manager of the pre-school, said the children were excited about the royal visit.

The Prince of Wales is kissed on the cheek by a member of the public as he arrives at Ely Cathedral Credit: Steve Parsons/PA

Charles also visited The Stained Glass Museum in Ely in his role as its patron, cutting a cake to mark its 40th anniversary.

He also visited an almshouse run by Thomas Parsons’ Charity, wishing residents an early happy Christmas.