From Tupelo's Daily Journal: Jim Beane has dished up some of his finest pork barbecue for some famous folk, but never a prince.
"We have now," Beane said after last week's visit from Prince Albert of Monaco. The prince dropped in on Tupelo to pay homage to Elvis Presley, the King of Rock 'n' Roll.
He called for lunch at Beane's place as his plane landed at the Tupelo Regional Airport on Thursday. "I was here when he called," said Beane, who had to leave before the prince picked up his call-in order for lunch.
Albert, the son of the late Princess Grace and her husband, the late Prince Rainier, tooled around town with his entourage of about 10. One of his stops was the Elvis Presley Birthplace, where he spent about two hours and loaded up on goodies from the gift shop.
"He was really nice," said Rhonda Lamb, who works in the gift shop. Dick Guyton, director of the birthplace, said he hasn't seen royalty at the site in the five year he has been director. Nobody at the birthplace knew of the prince's visit until that morning "probably 1 1/2 hours before he arrived."
Albert visited the museum, the little house and the chapel. The folks at the birthplace gave the prince a T-shirt and a small statue of Elvis at age 13.
After paying respects to the Elvis birthplace in August, the 30th anniversary of his death, the visitors ventured to Tupelo Hardware, where owner George Booth was surprised by the visit. "He was very nice," Booth said. "He was wearing a white shirt, khaki shorts and tennis shoes."
Booth didn't recognize any other of the members of the group. Of course, Albert wanted to know about Elvis' first guitar, which was purchased from the hardware store. "It was a very nice visit," Booth said.