Charles takes trip down memory lane to Iceland’s HQ

·2-min read

The Prince of Wales took a trip down memory lane and visited a high street retailer known for its frozen goods.

Charles began a week-long tour of Wales by visiting the headquarters of Iceland in Deeside, Flintshire and dropping into the cold store – a facility he opened 34 years ago.

He was joined by Iceland’s co-founder and executive chairman Sir Malcolm Walker, who established the first store in 1970 in Oswestry, Shropshire with Peter Hinchcliffe, a fellow Woolworths trainee manager.

Sir Malcolm’s wife came up with name of the store after the they hit on the idea of selling frozen food loose, which meant shoppers could buy as little or as much as needed.

Royal visit to Wales
Charles is given a tour by Iceland managing director Richard Walker (centre) and his father, Iceland executive chairman, Sir Malcolm Walker (Christopher Furlong/PA)

The retailer recently opened its 1,000th store, in Newport, South Wales, and today employs 30,000 people.

During the visit Charles met staff in Iceland’s development kitchen responsible for creating new product ranges, and supply chain teams, who played a crucial role in ensuring stock reached shelves during the panic-buying spree last year, which saw a 30% increase in sales of frozen food.

The prince met and thanked several Iceland colleagues representing the thousands of retail workers who have been on the front line of the Covid-19 crisis.

Later the royal praised staff at a vaccine factory for the part they have played in the battle against Covid-19.

He visited Wockhardt UK in Wrexham, North Wales, to see for himself the company’s key role in the vaccination rollout across the UK.

Wockhardt has been instrumental in the manufacture of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine and carries out the “fill and finish” stage of the process, which involves dispensing the vaccine into vials ready for it to be sent out across the country.

Charles ended his day by visiting a Welsh medieval place of pilgrimage, St Winefride’s Well, a popular Catholic site in Holywell, Flintshire, and touched its waters which are said to have healing properties.

Royal visit to Wales for Wales Week
Charles meets sisters from the Bridgettine Order (Arthur Edwards/The Sun)

The Roman Catholic Bishop of Wrexham, Peter Brignall, and the Catholic parish priest of Holywell, Father Justin Karakadu, joined the prince for the tour.

The site is renowned as being a place of unbroken pilgrimage for more than 1,300 years and is also home to St Winefride’s Chapel.

Before leaving, Charles posed for a picture with sisters from the Bridgettine Order who run the nearby convent at Holywell which provides hospitality and accommodation for pilgrims to St Winifride’s Well.