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Charles and Camilla tame unruly pupils during Beano appearance

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall visited publisher DC Thomson's new printing press on Tuesday.

Prince of Wales, Charles, appearing in the Beano.
DC Thomson & Co. Ltd. 2013

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall visited a notoriously unruly school when they made a guest star appearance in the latest edition of the Beano.

Charles and Camilla have been immortalised as cartoons in the popular comic, which hits the shelves on Wednesday.

The special edition sees the royal couple take a trip to Beanotown's undisciplined Bash Street School, where they gently encourage the young terrors into better ways.

On Tuesday, the couple, known in Scotland as the Duke and Duchess of Rothesay, were presented with framed prints of their encounters with Smiffy and the gang, Dennis the Menace and Roger the Dodger during a visit to publishing company DC Thomson & Co in Dundee, where they started the firm's new printing press.

Beano editor Craig Graham said Charles and Camilla were thrilled to be featured in the long-running comic.

He said: "They were absolutely delighted. Often we're a little bit nervous because we do, by the nature of things, have to caricature people.

"But they were both absolutely delighted with their likenesses and hugely impressed to be involved with characters like Dennis the Menace and Roger the Dodger."

Charles and Camilla are not the first royals to have been featured in the Beano. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have already made cameo appearances in the publication.

The new edition, billed as a "top secret guest issue", urges readers to turn the pages to find out who the special visitors to Beanotown are.

In the first cartoon strip, Dennis the Menace and Gnasher, the Duchess of Cornwall goes to Bash Street School to open its new library. Dennis and Roger the Dodger are initially in typically mischievous mood, with Roger in particular carrying out a number of tricks to avoid having to read books.

But the Duchess' visit convinces them that reading is worthwhile and has Dennis declaring: "Reading is fun for everyone, Menaces."

Duchess of Cornwall in the Beano

In the Bash Street Kids strip, Charles is pictured dropping into the canteen at lunchtime, where he finds the school meals to be inedible. As a solution, he proposes that they make their own sandwiches and grow their own organic vegetables in an allotment - putting the kids' pea shooters to good use as seed planters.

It is understood that the themes were chosen to reflect causes close to the Duke and Duchess's hearts.

Mr Graham explained how the idea of including Charles and Camilla in the comic came about. He said: "When we learned that they were coming to open the plant, we were obviously thrilled, it was a great opportunity for us.

"We know that kids do love the royals. I think after last year, with the Jubilee, it's really still at the forefront of their minds and we know that they really enjoy reading about them, seeing them and finding out what they're doing.

"So we put our minds to thinking up a storyline which might fit with their (the royals') interests and how they may relate to today's kids.

"We know of the Duchess's interest in literacy and most people know about the Duke's interests in organic farming, healthy eating and generally living a very healthy lifestyle. We put our minds to it and came up with two storylines related to those."

He also joked he hoped the couple, who were presented with their prints by three young Beano readers, would put them "on the mantelpiece".

During the visit to DC Thomson's base at Kingsway East, the royals met a number of employees, as well as members of the Thomson family.

Charles wore a kilt in Rothesay tartan for the visit, while Camilla donned a kilted skirt in Lord of the Isles tartan, with a matching mint green jacket.

The couple viewed an exhibition of the 100-year history of the publisher behind such titles as The Press and Journal, The Courier and The Sunday Post, and some of the most popular children's publications of all time, such as Bunty, Judy, The Skipper and The Hotspur.

Charles and Camilla also started the company's new printing press, which is said to be one of the most efficient of its kind. One of the first copies off the press, a special edition of the Evening Telegraph marking the royal visit, was presented to the couple at the end of their tour.

Following the visit, David Thomson, chief operating officer at DC Thomson, said: "It's been a fantastic day for the staff. We're obviously delighted that the Duke and Duchess of Rothesay agreed to come and open our new press.

"We're very committed to newspapers and the future of newspapers, which is why we've made such a huge investment, a £30m investment, in the new plant, so that we're able to produce the quality of newspapers for all our readers for years to come."

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