A landlady said there was lots of laughter when Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall paid a visit today.

The royal couple visited The Bell in Purleigh as the prince is patron of Pub is the Hub.

Kirsten Webb, who runs the pub with husband Julian, said: “It went brilliantly, they were very relaxed and seemed very happy with the pub.

“There was lots of laughter.”

Local dignitaries and representatives of companies including Maldon Salt, Maldon Oysters and Purleigh’s New Hall Vineyard met the royals, who even pulled pints at the bar and played a game of darts.

Full story and pictures in this week's paper.