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British RoyalsCoronavirusThe Cambridges

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit East London to see impact of coronavirus on community

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge carried out a series of unannounced engagements in East London on Tuesday to meet people and find out how they have dealt with the COVID-19 pandemic and worked together as a community.

William and Kate first visited the London Bridge Jobcentre to speak with customers about the service they’ve received with the company during the pandemic. The customers had all lost their jobs during the pandemic and have been receiving support with the company since then.

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According to the Royal Family’s website, the London Bridge Jobcentre “has seen a significant increase in its claimant base since the start of Covid-19 and has continued to provide support with face to face care to vulnerable customers in a COVID secure manner.”

Next, William and Kate visited the London Muslim Centre and the East London Mosque to meet volunteers there who have been delivering meals, medication and other necessities to sheltered and vulnerable people in the area.

The East London Mosque’s website notes that they helped to provide emergency mortuary facilities as well as ”delivering meals, food and hygiene packs, and medication; and maintaining advice and counselling services. Much of this was made possible through urgent fundraising at the height of the lockdown, supported generously by the Muslim community.”

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The Royal Family website notes that, “Beyond providing vital 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.”

The East London Mosque’s projects were funded in part by the National Emergencies Trust, one of William’s patronages. William and Kate met with staff and volunteers, as well as beneficiaries and local businesses that helped with deliveries. As a gift, they also received jars of honey from beehives at the Mosque.

The Mosque wrote on its Facebook page, “It was a pleasure to host the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge today. We hope they will visit us again soon.”

For their final engagement of the day, William and Kate visited the Beigel Bake Brick Lane Bakery to hear more about how the business worked through the pandemic and how the reduction in hours affected staff. They also learned more about how the bakery donated food and made deliveries to the local community.

The Beigel Bakery had been operating 24 hours a day prior to the pandemic, but once restrictions began, its hours were reduced and staff members were furloughed. William and Kate listened as its workers described how they pivoted to help vulnerable members of the community through donations and deliveries.

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After talking with the staff, William and Kate helped behind the counter kneading the dough and prepping it for the next step of its baking process.

Writing on their Facebook page after the royal couple’s visit, the Bakery said, “What a day!!! We can’t thank [William and Kate] enough for their gratitude, involvement and kindness. We feel truly blessed by all the support during COVID-19 and happy we can provide that Beigel fix!”

About author

Jess is the Senior Royal Reporter and Editorial Assistant at Royal Central. Her interest in royalty started in her teenage years, coinciding with The Queen's Golden Jubilee in 2002 and grew from there. She specializes in the British Royal Family (with emphasis on the Cambridges) and the Danish Royal Family, and has provided royal commentary for media outlets in Canada, the United States, the UK and Australia.