Charles and Camilla score with Geordies

The Prince of Wales began a two-day tour of the North East by joking with Royal well-wishers.

Pointing at the Royal Train, Prince Charles quipped: "You waiting for the next train?"

He made the light-hearted comment as he arrived at Newcastle Central railway station with the Duchess of Cornwall.

They were met by a host of dignitaries, including The Lord Mayor of Newcastle Councillor Diane Packham and Northumbria Police Chief Constable Mike Craik.

The Royal couple's engagements across the region began in Newcastle with a visit to the Royal Victoria Infirmary, where, Charles first visited the children's unit, where he was reminded by Camilla to wash his hands before entering.

The couple then met poorly children who were being taught by a team of specialist teachers in a bid to keep up with their school work.

Among them was Ali Adil, 12, from Fenham, Newcastle, who has cystic fibrosis and was studying English.

Afterwards, he said: "Prince Charles asked if the tube in my nose hurt and I told him it didn't."

At St James' Park, the home of Newcastle United, the Royal couple were taken into the home changing room where they met footballers and young people taking part in the Prince's Trust Football Initiative.

The Prince sat and chatted with former England and Newcastle striker Alan Shearer and goalkeeper Shay Given, while the Duchess spoke to England striker Michael Owen and club captain Scott Parker.

A classroom of eight and nine-year-olds later sat in silence when the Prince read them a Kipling story at Stocksfield Avenue Primary School in Fenham, Newcastle

Year Four teacher Georgina Dunn said afterwards: "He did it wonderfully, the children were just captivated.

"He had wonderful poise and control, he showed them the pictures and he explained the difficult words to them."

The royal couple's final engagement of the day was to take afternoon tea and cake with local people in Jarrow, South Tyneside as guests of the Toc H charity.

Today Prince Charles and Camilla will be in Northumberland where they will visit an organic farm in Bellingham.