A very special couple gave the royal seal of approval to a new shop and post office located in a 19th-century pub.

Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, inspected essential items at Stourpaine's White Horse pub, near Blandford, before trying a local beer in May 2011

After the neighbouring premises closed in 2010, landlord Chris Sargent welcomed the shop and post office to his pub.

The Prince and Duchess arrived in a dark blue Jaguar car and were greeted by the Duchess’ sister, Annabel Elliot, who lives in the village.

Bournemouth Echo:

Introducing the Prince to the landlord, she quipped: “This is Chris – he’s the reason we’re here.”

The Royal couple mingled with villagers outside the pub, where the Prince asked locals how the shop, which sold bread, milk, cereals, fresh produce, and even had a delicatessen, had been received.

The Royal couple toured the tiny shop where the Duchess bought a jar of local honey, while the Prince sampled half a pint of Firkin Fox in the bar – a summer seasonal ale brewed three miles away at Hall and Woodhouse in Blandford.

Bournemouth Echo: