WHEN punters outside a run-down Liverpool pub jokingly shouted at Prince Charles to join them for a drink, they never dreamed he would.
With its peeling paint and boarded-up windows, the Wellington Vaults is hardly the sort of exclusive club that might entice the Prince of Wales.
But to the amazement of his minders —and the delight of locals — he interrupted his packed itinerary to down a half with regulars at the local boozer.
Charles had just left The Florence Institute, a community centre in Toxteth known locally as The Florrie, which has reopened thanks to a £6.4 million ($F17.8m) grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Barmaid Gaynor Jones, 46, said: "We were just watching Prince Charles coming out of The Florrie and some people outside shouted, 'Charlie, come over here for a pint'.
"He just started laughing and then walked over and came in!"
Perhaps sensibly, instead of ordering a cherry brandy or red wine, which are said to be his tipples of choice, he asked for a stout — which he then shared with Florrie chairman Denise Bernard.
Miss Jones added: "He asked me how I was and ordered half a Guinness. 'Everyone who was here was surprised and really made-up."
Clearly enjoying his unscheduled visit, he reportedly asked Miss Bernard: "Shall we share one? You have some first."
She replied: "Oh my God, Prince Charles is going to be bevied because of me! 'This has been the most exciting day of my life since having my baby."
Clearly enjoying his visit, the Prince earlier received thunderous applause at the Florrie when he unveiled the plaque to commemorate his visit and the reopening.
Young dancers from The Works Academy performed for the Prince and he was delighted when one presented him with a baby-grow printed with the words "Grandad's little workie".