19 JULY 2007

Like his son Prince William, Prince Charles is partial to a drop of cider. So he was keen to try a sample of his favourite brew on Wednesday during a visit to Somerset's Barrington Court, which was celebrating the centenary of it being saved by the National Trust for the nation.

As he sipped the golden liquid in the orchard of the Tudor property, the Prince was yet again displaying the sunny demeanor which seems to have characterised him of late - at one point dissolving into laughter. His bubbly mood was no doubt enhanced by the opportunity to get stuck into his best-loved hobby - gardening. The green-fingered royal enthusiastically helped local school children do some weeding in their own plot of the walled kitchen garden.

During the day Charles - who founded The Prince's Foundation For Integrated Health to encourage the combination of both conventional and complementary therapies - also officially opened the Penny Brohn Cancer Care unit near Bristol. He is patron of the centre and a firm supporter of its work. "He made me laugh and I made him laugh," said former patient Eileen Shaw, who said the centre had helped save her life.

Photo: ©
During the visit Charles was displaying the good humour which seems to have characterised his approach to several official duties of late Photo: © PAClick on photos for gallery
Photo: ©
Smiling throughout his trip to the National Trust property, at one point he seemed especially tickled and dissolved into chuckles of laughterPhoto: © PA