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In pictures: Charles and Camilla return to Ballater after recovery from floods

They visited several shops in Ballater that were damaged by Storm Frank in December 2015.

The Duke and Duchess of Rothesay have paid a visit to an Aberdeenshire village to witness its resurgence following devastating floods.

Charles and Camilla dropped into several shops in Ballater that were damaged by Storm Frank in December 2015.

Hundreds of residents were forced to flee their homes and dozens of businesses were wrecked when the River Dee burst its banks and engulfed the area close to Balmoral.

The couple sampled some sweet treats at Shorty’s ice cream parlour, which only reopened three weeks ago.

Camilla tucked into several flavours, declaring mango her favourite of the bunch.

Owner Cheryl Littlewood said: “It was wonderful and so nice to see them in Ballater. The Duke and Duchess are always so lovely when they come and visit, they are so relaxed and it is so easy to have a conversation with them.

“The Duchess tried a number of ice creams and seemed to like them all, which is always good to hear especially when it comes from royalty.

“They were always round the village at the time of the floods, so the support they gave has been brilliant and this visit will only help.”

Other business owners said it was a great opportunity to show how much the community has bounced back from the brink of disaster.

The royal couple stopped by to chat with Byrn and Marilyn Wayte, owners of Deeside Books. The shop, on Bridge Street, had to shut for 14 months after the floodwater destroyed almost 10,000 books. The couple kept the company going by selling books online.

Marilyn said: “It was very nice to speak to them, they came when it was just newly-flooded and remember the smell of the oil and the mess it was in.

“It was really nice of them to come now it has been opened up again.”

The VIP guests also dropped into fashion and homeware store Wilkies, where they met staff and managing director Karen Forret.

She said: “It was lovely to have them visit, I was a bit nervous and so were the staff.

“They were genuinely interested in the store and spent around 10 minutes speaking to staff.”

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