King Charles made a visit to the headquarters of British supermarket giant Morrisons where he was intrigued by the existence of “carbon-neutral eggs”.
The new king was greeted by hundreds of staff who watched from balconies and stairwells as he began a two-day tour of Yorkshire.
As he arrived, he chatted to people who worked at stores around the region, and wished them an early “happy Christmas”.
The king was given tips on roasting potatoes as he toured the development kitchen at Morrisons, examining special dishes prepared from triple-smoked salmon and pan-roasted short-horn beef by chefs Mark Richmond and Richard Jones.
As he was introduced to producers of recently launched carbon-neutral eggs, King Charles asked about the new rules to combat bird flu.
Claire Anderson, commercial manager of Chippendale Foods, which supplies the “Planet Friendly” eggs to Morrisons, said the royal visitor asked whether all the birds now had to be kept indoors, which, she said, they did.
The monarch looked intrigued by how the eggs get their carbon-neutral status, by being fed on black soldier fly larvae, which themselves feed on waste products from the supermarket operation.
Ms Anderson said he also asked whether the eggs are more expensive than normal eggs which, she said, they were slightly.
The King was shown around the Bradford HQ, where about 2,000 people work, by Morrisons chief executive David Potts.
The firm set out a version of its trademark Market Street fresh food aisle in its main atrium and King Charles took time to talk to butchers, fishmongers, florists and bakers, as well as apprentices working in these areas, as he voiced a liking for hake and plate steak.
He also met some of the community champions, who work on projects around the country, based at Morrisons stores.
The king told the Morrisons staff in his speech: “It has been a great pleasure to meet at least some of you and to see what a remarkable operation is run throughout this country.”
He said the work done by the community champions “is so enormously heartening”.
The king left Morrisons for further engagements in Bradford city centre and Leeds.
On Wednesday, he will be joined by Queen Consort Camilla for engagements in York and Doncaster, including the unveiling of a statue of his late mother at York Minster cathedral.
He will also confer city status on Doncaster.