NOSTALGIA: Looking back on when King Charles III came to Boston as the Prince of Wales

For this week’s Retro page, we have delved into our archives to find occasions when King Charles visited Boston.

The front page of the Boston Standard when Prince Charles visited in 1988.
The front page of the Boston Standard when Prince Charles visited in 1988.

‘Charles flies in to win hearts of town’ read the front page of The Standard in November 1988 after the Prince of Wales, as he was then, came to Boston to inspect the work being done to restore St Botolph’s Church.

His interest in The Stump went back a number of years to the time when he made a donation to the church’s restoration appeal and asked to be kept in touch.

"Prince Charles endeared himself to Boston people yesterday by chatting to dozens of them – and sporting a tin badge declaring ‘I’ve stumped up to keep the Stump up’ in the lapel of his brown tweed overcoat,” the paper wrote in its coverage of the visit.

The Prince in 1992 with Mayor of Boston Coun Ernier Napier and Mayoress Pauline Napier.

The Prince arrived at Central Park by helicopter, where he was greeted by hundreds of cheering schoolchildren and local people.

Among the gifts he received during his time in the town were two brightly coloured cotton baseball caps and matching balls – one each for Prince William and Prince Harry.

"That's nice – they won't fight over them," he said.

In March 1992, the Prince returned to Boston to visit Pilgrim Hospital as patron of the Macmillan Nurse Appeal.

The Prince of Wales visiting Freshtime UK, Boston, and hearing about the company's plans for recyclable and alternative packaging.

Again, he arrived by helicopter – this time landing at Boston High School where he made an impromptu detour to talk to some of the pupils.

At the hospital, he received a warm welcome from staff, visitors and patients.

The Prince later visited Wards 7 and 5, where he met patients being treated for cancer.

Perching informally on their beds, he chatted to them at length about their illness and treatments, families and hobbies.

The Prince with Erhan Akyuz, owner of Aronia UK Ltd.

After Pilgrim Hospital, a tour of HMP North Sea Camp followed.

There, the Prince chatted to inmates and staff and learnt about initiatives sponsored by grants from the Prince's Trust's Young Offenders Group.

The tour also included a stop at the site’s gym, where inmates worked with children from John Fielding School and other community members. Here, The Prince had a quick game of table tennis.

In March 2018, Prince Charles visited Boston again.

His Royal Highness paid a visit to Age UK Boston and South Holland, in High Street, following on from a visit to the food-to-go and fresh produce business Freshtime, in Marsh Lane.

The Prince of Wales was a patron of Age UK and his visit to its offices in town gave him the chance to meet staff, volunteers, beneficiaries, and other organisations housed in the restored Georgian town house and its grounds, as well as members of the area’s Romanian community who had been invited to attend the event.

Some time was also spent with members of the public who had gathered opposite the building, with one calling out to him ‘if I knew you were coming I’d have baked a cake’ before shaking his hand and giving him a peck on the cheek.

There was also an unscheduled visit to a convenience shop after the Prince met its owner among those gathered.

Shop owner Erhan Akyuz said: “He wanted to look at our products. He was very friendly and chatty.”