Young north Suffolk pub landlord meets Prince Andrew

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The landlord of a pub in Thornham Magna got the Royal seal of approval at an event held at Buckingham Palace recently.

Tom Parkhurst, 23, met the Duke of York, Prince Andrew, at an event promoting the idea of graduation ceremonies for apprenticeship candidates.

Mr Pankhurst has been in charge of The Four Horseshoes since August 2008.

Of the big day, which took place on October 24, he said: “It was an honour to meet the Prince. He was an affable chap and seemed committed to promoting apprenticeships.

“It was my first ever visit to the Palace – who knows, hopefully it won’t be my last.”

Before that, he gained an apprenticeship at Otley College.

After successfully passing his course, Mr Pankhurst was thought to be one of the youngest landlords in Britain when he took over the pub.

Alongside his day job, Tom has been asked to be part of a select group called the Young Ambassadors Network - a collection of 20 specially-chosen former apprentices, aged between 16 and 24.

As part of this group, Tom’s aim was to make more students and employers aware of the benefits of apprenticeships.

John Nice, a spokesman for Otley College, said: “Tom deserved his day out at the palace, and all the recognition that he receives.

“He continually makes the college incredibly proud.”