Shopkeeper recalls day the future King Charles III visited his shop and asked about cheese

A Boston shopkeeper has spoken about the ‘honour’ of hosting the future King Charles III on an impromptu visit to his convenience store.

Erhan Akyuz with his wife Emma Akyuz outside his shop, which was visited by Prince Charles.
Erhan Akyuz with his wife Emma Akyuz outside his shop, which was visited by Prince Charles.

Aronia UK became an unscheduled stop on the former Prince of Wales’ tour of Lincolnshire in March 2018 when its owner, Erhan Akyuz, shook his hand and invited him in.

His Royal Highness had been visiting Age UK opposite and Erhan was among those in the street who greeted him on his departure.

The Standard spoke to Erhan recently about his memories of that day – and what sort of King he thinks Charles III will make.

The future King shakes hands with Erhan Akyuz inside his Boston shop. Photo by David Dawson.

"It was such an unusual day for me, but also fantastic,” said Erhan, who still runs the same shop in High Street, along with two others.

"At the time, he had come to see the new Age UK shop opposite mine, and I was part of the crowd greeting him, and he pointed at my shop and said 'what's that?' so I told him it was my shop and invited him in.

"We had to close my shops for two hours due to his visit, and Charles apologised about this two or three times.

"I said it was absolutely fine, but I thought it was such a nice thing to say and I was surprised by how nice he was.

The moment the Prince of Wales asked Erhan about his shop, in Boston's High Street. Photo by David Dawson.

"You don't expect that from somebody of such high calibre, but I felt you could talk to him all day.

“He asked me where I was originally from, and when I said ‘Turkey’ he remarked about how he liked Turkish cheese.”

Erhan had planned to offer the Prince some items from the shop, but in the hustle and bustle of the high-profile visit, with press and security in tow, did not get the chance.

So following their meeting, he sent Charles a hamper of cheese and wine – and a few days later received a letter of thanks from Clarence House.

The future King inspects the international food on offer at the Boston convenience store.

"I found him to be very down-to-earth, just like a normal guy,” said Erhan.

Speaking about watching HM the Queen's funeral last Monday, he added: "It was an amazing send-off and showed how strong the monarchy is.

"I think Charles will be a great King and he will do really well for the country as he is such a friendly guy. I believe Britain needs a monarchy, and is a better place for it.”

Erhan says photos of him meeting the royal now take pride of place at his home, alongside a framed copy of the letter of thanks.

The letter of thanks sent to Erhan from Clarence House back in April, 2018.