The future king fell into a fit of giggles when he was pranked by the world’s naughtiest boy during a visit to Dundee in 2013.
Dennis the Menace’s cheeky gesture interrupted a discussion on cows!
King Charles III was still the Duke of Rothesay in Scotland when he officially opened publisher DC Thomson’s new £25 million printing presses at its Kingsway plant.
He was joined for the June 2013 engagement by his wife, Camilla, who is now his Queen Consort following the death of his beloved mother at the age of 96.
The royal couple were greeted by cheering DC Thomson staff when they arrived, before being shown around the offices and print hall.
The couple were greeted by Dundee Lord Provost Bob Duncan and members of the Thomson family before being introduced to staff during a tour around an exhibition on the firm’s history and current business interests.
The royals were then shown around the new presses, speaking to members of the production staff, before Prince Charles pressed the button to start the new press running.
He and Camilla then unveiled a plaque commemorating the occasion.
The company also produces some of the most successful children’s publications of all time, including the much-loved Beano.
The royal couple were given a surprise during the visit!
They were introduced to three of the employees’ children – Gracie Murray, Rhys Egan and Reagan Lafferty – who presented them with framed artwork showing their upcoming appearance in a special edition of The Beano.
The comic saw the royal couple take a trip to Beanotown’s undisciplined Bash Street School where they gently encouraged the young terrors into better ways.
Dennis the Menace got in on the act too during the visit!
He refused to shake the future king’s hand during the walkabout, before making a cheeky gesture instead that prompted a big laugh and many giggles.
DC Thomson group head of production, Struan Nimmo, remembers the-then duke’s visit well, which started with him discussing old printing presses and newspapers – but somehow quickly descended into a chat about cows.
Struan, who was content manager at The Courier at the time, remembers waiting at the Kingsway along with Courier farming editor Ewan Pate and the late, great Press and Journal farming editor Joe Watson.
Struan said: “Ewan, Joe and myself were waiting in plenty time for the royal group, who were a bit behind schedule.
“As we waited, the three of us started talking about the job and the one thing we all have in common is being from a farming background.
“Naturally the chat went to the weather, combines, sheep sales and, of course, cows!
“The future king and Queen Consort suddenly appeared and Charles shook my hand and asked about my job and the first DC Thomson print press that was part of the tour.
“But quickly (they were behind schedule) the prince moved on, and like a pincer movement an army general would have been proud of, Camilla went round the back of the prince to the next part of the tour.
“My chance to meet the future Queen Consort had gone!
“The prince had moved on to chat to Joe but two minutes later I was summoned over to join a debate on our favourite breed of cows.
“I put my case for Herefords, just before that pesky Dennis the Menace appeared and the prince had to go.
“My one-in-a-lifetime meeting with our future king ruined by that dastardly menace.”
The “revolutionary” print system has now been running for almost a decade and still managed to get the news out during the pandemic lockdowns of 2020 and 2021.
From royal marriages to royal births and the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in July, they have kept printing the news in some of the happiest times for the royal family.
But with triumph inevitably comes tragedy.
None more so than Thursday’s announcement of the Queen’s death.
Our printing presses have never been busier.
They have since rolled off bumper commemorative editions and supplements marking both Her Majesty’s death and the tributes which have marked her passing.
Many more column inches will be filled in the weeks ahead as the nation mourns the late monarch and welcomes the new king on his tour of the UK.
Proof that print remains sovereign at times like this.
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