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Last Updated: Thursday, 19 June, 2003, 17:34 GMT 18:34 UK
Birthday drinks for joker William
Prince William
A wave for Wales as Prince William arrives at Bangor
Prince William enjoyed a few drinks, chatted about art, punk haircuts and garage music - and teased his father on their visit to Wales.

The prince travelled to north and south Wales with Prince Charles on the only official engagement to mark his 21st birthday on Saturday.

Renditions of Happy Birthday in English and its Welsh equivalent - Penblwydd Hapus - kicked off their arrivals in first Bangor and then Anglesey.

He pulled his father's leg about underage drinking - and used decidely adult language when he joked that photographers were trying to get him drunk.

William raised a laugh when he tasted three glasses of two different liqueurs.
Don't believe everything they tell you
Charles refuses to rise to his son's drinking bait

"Are you trying to get me p*****d?" he joked.

With a hint of mischief in his voice, he said to his father: "Look Pops, they've got cherry brandy."

William had evidently been told the story of when his father ordered a cherry brandy in a pub as a schoolboy.

Prince Charles and Prince William
Father and son princes enjoy a drink in Anglesey

An amused Prince of Wales raised his eyebrows and replied to his son: "Don't believe everything they tell you."

Real ale

"We offered Charles the cherry brandy but he said he'd better not have that and tried the apricot brandy instead," said Carol Jones of Condessa, makers of liqueurs in Llanfaethlu, Anglesey.

More drinks were on the way when William sampled a real ale named Amnesia.

"It does exactly what it says on the bottle," Martyn Lewis, of the Isle of Anglesey Brewery, told William.

"I don't normally do real ale, I like cider, but this is good," the young prince replied.

Wow, look at this ... these are brilliant
William admires wild hairdos

Hundreds of fans gathered at Bangor train station to greet him and Prince Charles on their arrival on a train called Prince William.

Prince William
Hundreds turned out in Bangor to greet the young prince

Both Charles and William walked over to a crowd of pupils from St Gerard's School in Bangor who were waving both the Welsh and British flags.

Teleri Jones, 13, said: "I am a big fan. I shook their hands and they said hello.

"I noticed that William's hands are very soft, while Prince Charles' are hard!"

Array of goodies

Pensioner Marie Wilcox, who waited two-and-a-half hours to see him, said: "It's the first time I've seen Prince William and he is so like his mother, unbelievably like her.

"He has a gentle demeanour and was very personable, looking you straight in the face as he spoke to you."

The two princes walked round the Anglesey food fair with its 28 stalls of local produce offering an array of goodies - everything from Welsh cakes and beer to black beef and sea salt.

Erin Jones and Prince William
Erin Jones, 17, helps William with a celebratory birthday cake
He chatted to the stallholders, many of whom saw the event as an important boost for an area hard hit by recent crises in the farming industry.

Bess Evans, who makes a range of home-made cakes said: "It went quite well, better than I expected. He spoke more than I did. He was very interested."

Ieuan Williams, aged 14, was one of the singers who performed for the two princes.

He said: "It is good to see him touring the country to see all his people, to make sure everyone know he does care."

Preparations for the visit had been underway for hours at the food fair before they arrived.

Local herb grower Rowena Mansfield said: "Will's birthday is the same as mine, but I won't be 21 again."

There is speculation that after finishing his history of art course William will spend six months learning Welsh at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, as his father did in the 1960s.

Prince Charles
Charles lends a hand with the crowds in Bangor

Elen Thomas and Holly Williams, both 11, dressed in traditional Welsh costume, asked William if he spoke Welsh and if he would be invested as Prince of Wales at Caernarfon Castle, as his father had been.

"William said his Welsh was a bit poor, so he needed some practice," said Elen. "He said he thought he probably would be invested at Caernarfon."

Offer of a pint

William and Charles then visited the Newport Action for the Single Homeless (Nash) day centre in south Wales.

William, who is two years into a history of art degree at St Andrews University in Scotland, met many people his own age who live in hostels.

The princes took a tour of the scheme which attempts to improve the employment prospects of vulnerable young people with activities such as carpentry, photography and art.

Prince William, DJ Floyd D and Prince Charles
In Newport Floyd D shows the two princes how to mix

He had to decline the offer of a pint from one Nash member, Darryl Williams, who cheekily invited the prince out for a beer.

Darryl, 21, originally from Cwmbran, said: "He was wicked. He said he'd love to come for a drink.

"I asked him but he couldn't because of the press. If I had his number, I would go down to his gaff.

"He asked me what type of music I was into. I said garage and anything really. He likes a bit of garage."

In the carpentry workshop, he met spiky-haired Nick Trett, from Newport, and commented on his choice of hairstyle - which was not dissimilar to Pop Idol runner-up Gareth Gates.

"I love the hair," William exclaimed as he entered the room.

In the art room, William was able to show off his knowledge of the art world.

He exclaimed on seeing dramatic pictures of punk-style women with extravagant hairdos: "Wow, look at this ... these are brilliant."

The BBC's Nicholas Witchell
"On William's shoulders rest the monarchy's long term hopes"

William overshadows his father
19 Jun 03  |  Wales

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