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Last Updated: Wednesday, 30 April, 2003, 20:20 GMT 21:20 UK
Prince joins tourists on castle tour
Prince Charles during his tour of the castle
Prince Charles posed for pictures during the tour

Prince Charles has surprised a group of tourists by joining them on a tour of Windsor Castle.

In a bid to boost visitors to the Berkshire landmark the heir to the throne took the public tour of his mother's home.

The Prince posed for pictures during the tour and even chatted in French and German.

American honeymooners Darold and Cindy Lee, from Seattle, said: "He's made our trip, he shook hands with us."

We are delighted that the royal family are offering their support
Stephen Dowd

"That was quite a shock," said Stan Axsmith, from Minnesota, after he had his picture taken with the Prince.

"I didn't think my wife would believe me, so I asked for a photograph.

"It's good of him to do this - things are settling down in the States now and tourism will recover."

Stephen Dowd, chief executive of the British Incoming Tour Operators' Association, said British tourism was still suffering after the September 11 terrorist attacks in America, the foot-and-mouth outbreak, the Iraq war and now the SARS epidemic.

"Tourism is suffering very badly at the moment.

"We are delighted that the royal family are offering their support," said Mr Dowd.

Royal tourist attractions, like Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace, are bucking the trend.

Frances Dunkels, of the Royal Collection, said: "The number of visitors to Windsor Castle rose by nearly 10% last financial year to about 963,000.




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