‘That’s a new discovery!’ King Charles enjoys a sip of mulled cider and jokingly avoids shaking hands with a blacksmith as he hosts engagement at Highgrove

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By Robert Fofana

King Charles enjoyed a sip of mulled cider today as he chatted with local producers in Tetbury today. 

The monarch, 75, was handed the glass of cider during a festive themed ‘Celebration of Craft’ – an engagement for The King’s Foundation – at his Highgrove House in Gloucestershire. 

Taking a sip from a glass, the King said: ‘Marvellous – that’s a new discovery.’ 

The royal donned a brown tweed jacket, along with a smart shirt and tie as he chatted to locals. 

Charles also met blacksmith Ian Thackray during the event and jokingly avoided shaking his dusty hand.

Mr Thackray, who trained a decade ago with the then Prince’s Foundation, helps mentor blacksmiths coming into the industry. 

‘That’s a new discovery!’ King Charles enjoys a sip of mulled cider and jokingly avoids shaking hands with a blacksmith as he hosts engagement at Highgrove

King Charles (pictured with the mulled cider in his hand) donned a brown tweed jacket, along with a smart shirt and tie as he chatted to locals

The monarch, 75, was handed the glass of cider during a festive themed 'Celebration of Craft' - an engagement for The King's Foundation - at his Highgrove House in Gloucestershire

The monarch, 75, was handed the glass of cider during a festive themed ‘Celebration of Craft’ – an engagement for The King’s Foundation – at his Highgrove House in Gloucestershire

Charles also met blacksmith Ian Thackray during the event and jokingly avoided shaking his dusty hand when he went in for a handshake (both pictured)

Charles also met blacksmith Ian Thackray during the event and jokingly avoided shaking his dusty hand when he went in for a handshake (both pictured) 

King Charles looks jolly as he has a chat with carol singers in Tetbury

King Charles looks jolly as he has a chat with carol singers in Tetbury

The King looks deep in thought as he is shown a number of paintings

The King looks deep in thought as he is shown a number of paintings 

The Monarch was pictured chatting to tutors at his Highgrove home today

The Monarch was pictured chatting to tutors at his Highgrove home today

King Charles looks inquisitive as he watches a local vendor pour him a glass of mulled cider

King Charles looks inquisitive as he watches a local vendor pour him a glass of mulled cider 

The King spoke to students from Snowdon School of Furniture

The King spoke to students from Snowdon School of Furniture

Speaking afterwards, Mr Thackray, from Dorset, said: ‘I said to the King it was nice to see each other again as I had trained through the Prince’s Foundation and we have bumped into each other a few times over the last 10 or 11 years.

‘The King has only seen me in a suit and tie. He politely declined to shake my hand as it was black from charcoal dust.

‘We are friendly enough to have a joke about it.’

In the brief exchange, Mr Thackray showed Charles some of the things he has been working on recently, including ancient Egyptian necklace beads which have been made from meteorites and replica lanterns produced for RHS Wisley.

During the visit, the King also chatted with members of a Tetbury choir who were singing Christmas carols and invited him to join them at one of their weekly sessions.

Charles also met graduates and tutors from The King’s Foundation’s craft programmes, including the Metiers d’Art Fellowship, the School of Traditional Arts, and the Building Arts Programme.

Around 15,000 students take part in the foundation’s education programmes each year and many are involved in courses that teach traditional arts and crafts.

This comes as the Monarch met Santa on Thursday and was told by Father Christmas that he was at ‘the very top of his good list’.

Charles travelled to Ealing Broadway Shopping Centre in west London where he was mobbed by hundreds of well-wishers. 

Crowds soon gathered, with members of the public eager to shake the King’s hand and take a selfie with him. 

RoyalsKing Charles III

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