The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall enjoyed slurping tea, making pasta and icing Easter eggs as part of a tour of Bettys and Taylors in Harrogate.
The royal couple are huge fans of the family business and personally requested to be shown around the company’s headquarters in Plumpton Park, where they happily chatted away to staff, as well as young students at Bettys Cookery School.
Chair of the group board and member of the Bettys family, Lesley Wild, was among those to greet the pair.
She said: “We welcomed His Royal Highness to Bettys in Harrogate in 2003, making this the second time The Prince of Wales has personally requested a visit to our business. It’s a significant honour and recognises our commitment to quality, service and the work we do to put social and environmental responsibilities at the heart of our business.”
The Prince and the Duchess visited the tea tasting room at Taylors of Harrogate first, where they were introduced to sourcing director Keith Writer and tea buyer Henry Boocock.
After welcoming them to “the engine room of Yorkshire Tea”, Their Royal Highnesses were given an introduction to the craft of tea tasting and different tea origins.
The pair tried a range of teas and there was laughter as Prince Charles attempted the slurping technique, which is how the tea buyers taste and assess the teas.
The couple were invited to select a small number of teas to go into their own bespoke blend, with Prince Charles opting for a thicker and maltier “full-bodied” blend and Camilla opting for something lighter and more delicate.
Their Royal Highnesses were then taken to Bettys Cookery School, where a class of young chefs were learning to make pasta.
Both got stuck-in and had a go at making tagliatelle while chatting to some of the pupils, including 13-year-old George Hurren, from Tadcaster, who has been on more than 10 cookery courses at the school.
George, who also met the royal couple, when they visited the Great Yorkshire Show in Harrogate last July, said: “I think it’s absolutely marvellous meeting them in person. I will remember it for the rest of my life.”
The couple then moved on to Bettys Craft Bakery, where they were introduced to some of the bakery’s chocolatiers and cake decorators.
To their delight, they were presented with two personalised chocolate eggs to take home Prince George and Princess Charlotte, before they both had a turn at icing an Easter egg, much to the amusement of the crowd.
Prince Charles, who seemed particularly impressed with Betty’s £250 giant Imperial Easter egg, admitted that Camilla’s attempt was better than his, as he licked some stray icing off his shirt cuff.
“It’s always such fun making a fool of one’s self,” he laughed.
The pair were then shown some of the impressive cakes and wedding cakes, made by the bakery and were particularly impressed with the intricate work that went into icing the creations.
The Prince of Wales said: “I can’t tell you how much I admire this work."
As the royal couple departed, they were presented with gifts, including a special cake.
Bakery director Caroline Grant, who helped to show them around, said: “I just think they were so interested in everybody and they were just really natural and put people at ease. A lot of the team were nervous but they made it really easy for people to be themselves.”