A NEW variety of cider apple named in honour of Prince William will be grown in

Herefordshire by cider giant Bulmers.

The apple, simply called "Prince William", is being created to celebrate the 21st birthday of the prince, who earlier this year announced he preferred cider to beer.

The first of the 2,000 new trees will be budded this summer in nurseries and planted out next autumn in county orchards.

George Thomas, spokesman for Bulmers, said the Prince William cider apple would be "large, robust yet mild in nature with a red flush" and will make a cider of "fair complexion, well balanced with lots of character."

"Prince William" will be the first of more than 360 varieties of traditional English cider apples grown over the centuries to be given a royal name.

"We were delighted when Prince William, in his 21st birthday interview, declared himself to be a cider drinker and felt it appropriate that one of the newly developed cider apple varieties should carry his name," said Mr Thomas.

"After all, King Edward has a potato named after him, so why not a cider apple for Prince William?

"It takes a few years for a new orchard to grow, but the first cider made from 'Prince William' apples will be ready in time for his 25th birthday, and we will ensure he gets a fair share of it.

"Cider is one of the oldest and most traditional of all English drinks, delivering both taste and refreshment, and Prince William shows good judgement in choosing it as his personal favourite drink."