The Cambridges have returned to London from Anmer Hall, their country home. Today they carried out several engagements in London.
The Duke and Duchess wanted to hear firsthand the ways local communities have faced the challenges created by lockdown over the last six months and also “shine a light on individuals who have gone above and beyond to help others during this extraordinary time” per a Kensington Palace news release.
Their first stop was the London Bridge Jobcentre.
More from The Telegraph’s story by Hannah Furness:
At the Jobcentre, they met Afef Ben Khaled, who lost her job in a commercial bank in May when her contract was not renewed.
When the duchess asked her: “Are a lot of your colleagues who were made redundant at the same time as you, are they finding themselves in the same situation?” Miss Khaled replied: “Another colleague of mine who was made redundant thought they [employer] are using the Covid-19 as an excuse. Sorry to be direct with you, but this is the reality.”
The Duchess speaking with job seekers.
A quick video from Roya Nikkhah of The Sunday Times.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have been carrying out engagements in London today, starting with a visit to the London Bridge Job Centre to hear about the challenges of unemployment and job hunting during #coronavirus pic.twitter.com/vnRibh10TK
— Roya Nikkhah (@RoyaNikkhah) September 15, 2020
Afef Ben Khaled said after the visit that “For me, it’s so important that the Duke and Duchess come and hear about what is going on and hear what is happening in their country. People are going through difficulties. It was important to be frank and tell them life is not great for everyone. We’re not all living in castles, some people are really struggling, with their mental health too.”
More on the visit from The Express:
They spoke to community engagement manager for Keltbray, Lloyd Graham, who told them how the construction company is involved in the demolition of some local buildings for the redevelopment of the Elephant and Castle area.
William said: “The children, especially Louis would love to come and watch that, to see the diggers, they love it.”
But Kate added: “Don’t forget Charlotte! She’d love it too.
The pair then traveled to the East London Mosque and London Muslim Centre in Whitechapel.
The royals met volunteers who have been helping by delivering hot meals, medication, and hygiene packs to vulnerable members of the community.
Financial Support for some of this work is provided by the National Emergencies Trust; William is the patron of that organization.
Kensington Palace notes that in addition to delivering those critical supplies, “the team have also been providing befriending calls to the isolated, vulnerable and elderly and critical counselling, including supporting women affected by domestic violence.”
We return to The Telegraph’s coverage:
The mosque’s senior Imam Mohamed Mahoud brought up the issue of mental health – championed by the couple through their Heads together campaign – and said afterwards: “I highlighted the issue of people increasingly needing support with their mental health – the Muslim community as well as the rest of the UK who have been horrifically affected by the pandemic in terms of losing jobs and livelihoods.”
He added that the visit by the royal couple had real importance for East London’s Muslims: “It’s an incredibly significant visit.”
More from Rebecca’s story:
‘We are so excited to come to your famous shop,’ William told Amnon Cohen, 70, one of the co-founders, who started it with his late brother, Asher Cohen.
‘We’ve been here 41 years, thank you for coming,’ Mr Cohen told him proudly.
The couple were slightly muffled through their masks but waved at the ladies behind the shop counter, Fiona McVeagh, 64, who has worked there for 33 years, and Dalia Urbanik, 43, who has been there for 16.
‘We are so happy to see you,’ shouted Fiona.
More on the impact of the pandemic on the bakery from The Scotland Herald.
Mr Cohen said later: “We had to furlough our staff. Fortunately we were later able to slowly expand our hours again and are now open 24 hours again. It’s steady, we are serving. But it’s not like it was before. It’s definitely quieter.”
Elias said the business had been helped by the fact that they had already started working on a home delivery app and have been working with a food donation programme, Feast, to distribute unsold bagels.
Prince William asked what made the bakery’s bagels so good, and also asked if they had any problems with their supply chain during the lockdown.
The Duke and Duchess were then shown how the bagels are made.
Having a look at how everything goes together, with thanks to Rebecca English for her photos.
The royals then tried making some.
Both were given big pieces of dough weighing roughly 7 pounds to be kneaded into round balls. That ball should then make about 30 bagels.
More from Emily Nash in her Hello! story.
As the Duke put the finishing touches to his dough ball, Elias Cohen, whose father Amnon founded the bakery in 1974, said: “Not bad. I think Kate wins!”
“We’ll go with that,” replied the future king, laughing as he placed his dough on a tray for shaping. “The usual story.”
As they continued to work on the dough, the Duchess laughed: “Just wait until you see the aftermath! I had beginner’s luck. They are getting worse!”
Roya Nikkhah of The Sunday Times shared a video on Twitter.
William and Kate also visited @BeigelBake in Brick Lane, east London, to try their hand at bagel making, while hearing how the 24hr bakery, which had to reduce opening hours during #coronavirusuk has helped the local community through food donations and deliveries pic.twitter.com/Xrsv82gBSD
— Roya Nikkhah (@RoyaNikkhah) September 15, 2020
The individual bagels are then created.
After impressing with their rolling skills, Fiona joked: “You’re after my job!”
She later said: “They are pretty good, especially her. She’d clearly knows how to bake.”
Those are placed into a larger container to be boiled.
A quick video from Emily Andrews of The Daily Mail.
William & Kate finished at the Beigel Bake Brick Lane Bakery where they tried their hand at bagel making & heard how the famous shop had reduced hours but still helped the local community through food delivery #royals pic.twitter.com/UsyxijwXph
— Emily Andrews (@byEmilyAndrews) September 15, 2020
A look at the Duke and Duchess as they were leaving the bakery.
After the visit, “a tearful Amnon said the royal visit was the ‘proudest moment of my life'” according to The Evening Standard’s story.
Now for our look at what Kate wore for the day’s engagements.
She brought back the Calla Dress by Beulah London (£550, $721). 100% silk with a cotton collar, the piece features a shirt dress silhouette with a concealed front placket, A-line skirt, and slender back tie.
The Duchess elected to tie the belt in front.
We first saw the dress worn during a May video call kicking off Mental Health Awareness Week in May.
The Celia is a classic point-toe pump in calfskin with a 4.1″ heel. Thank you to Middleton Maven for this shoe ID.
Kate brought back a handbag we first noted during the final day of the Poland/Germany tour, an Anya Hindmarch clutch. Below left you see it as used today; on the right, the bag when the Duchess carried it in Germany in July 2017.
It is made of lizard skin, measure roughly 6″ x 10″, and has goldtone hardware. A ‘thank you’ to Lady Parky and Valerie Nijssen for their help refreshing my memory on the handbag.
They are 18ct Gold Vermeil on Sterling Silver with Rhodochrosite, described as featuring a “crystal that radiates love, compassion and all-around good vibes.” Many thanks to Regal RepliKate and Courtney Flower on Twitter for their earring ID!
Kate has worn Missoma before, during the Pakistan tour last November.
That style was the London-based jeweler’s Zenyu chandelier hoops ($149.).
Kate wore the Amaia Kids mask we have seen previously.
Our standard reminder this isn’t a place for a debate on face mask policies. The couple adhered to the current UK policy on all three engagements today.
Here is the Royal Family Channel’s video from the Jobcentre visit.
And from the Mosque engagement.
Along with coverage of the Bakery visit.