The Princess Royal was introduced to saveloys and pease pudding as she visited the region yesterday.
The royal visitor was in South Tyneside where she officially opened new facilities as well as celebrating a major milestone at a business.
Her first stop was MI Dickson Ltd, a family butchers based at the Middlefield Industrial Estate, in South Shields where she was unveiled a plaque to mark the 60th anniversary of the company and was shown how sausages are made in the factory. She was also introduced to North East delicacies such as pease pudding and saveloy dip.
The Princess praised the efforts of the firm to constantly evolve and keep up with the ongoing challenges of the food industry.
Managing director Michael Dickson, 62, said: “We have been going for 60 years and it’s a great endorsement for a family business like ours to have a royal guest to celebrate the occasion.”
The Princess Royal went on to officially open newly-renovated flats at Holborn House, owned by Isos Housing, and then visited the new Mission to Seafarers building at Mill Dam where she met volunteers at the charity and unveiled a plaque.
Princess Anne, who is the president of the Mission, said: “This building is very important. The improvements here are going to make a real difference for the future.”
Nine-year-old Tamara Gaynor presented the VIP with a posie.
She rounded off the visit by opening the £3m Marsden Road Health and Wellbeing Centre on Horsley Hill. South Tyneside mayor Ernest Gibson said: “Seeing at first hand the co-location of so many services at this centre leaves me in no doubt that this important community and social venue will play a major role in enhancing the local area’s health and wellbeing.”