IT was ten years ago today when the Daily Echo reported on a member of royalty on a state visit like no other.

The King of Redonda, who's not likely going to appear in the new series of The Crown on Netflix, made his arrival to a consulate sandwiched between a hairdresser's and a tool shop.

King Michael the Grey, 60, was making his first trip as King of Redonda – an uninhabited Caribbean island lying some 30 miles from Antigua and the remnant of an extinct volcano – to his far flung consulate that doubled up as a pub.

But there was no crowd thronging the pavements or waving flags as the ruler turned up unnoticed in his 4x4 car to slip into the Wellington Arms in Southampton to meet his official representative, Sir Bob, better known as landlord Robert Beech.

Daily Echo:

Being on foreign soil, the consulate was established in 2007 as a crafty ruse to get round the anti-smoking law but our Government would have none of it.

It was hoped its embassy status would allow smokers to continue smoking, as the pub would be classed as ‘foreign soil’.

Daily Echo:

But the audacious plan to avoid the national smoking ban was foiled when the Foreign Office declared that Redonda was a territory of Antigua and Barbuda and therefore was not entitled to an embassy or high commission in the UK.