The Prince of Wales has revealed he hopes the nation’s “entrepreneurial spirit” will “secure brighter and much more sustainable times ahead” as pubs, restaurants and hotels prepare to reopen over the coming days following months of lockdown. Charles’ comments came in a video message in support of the hospitality sector. He also spoke about how staff employed by his Prince’s Foundation had been affected by the Covid-19 outbreak.
The heir to the throne said in his message: “I need hardly say that it is exceptionally welcome news that hotels, restaurants and pubs are to begin opening their doors.
“Hospitality connects people and enables them to create wonderful memories with families and friends, be it over a pint of beer, a special meal with family or an overnight stay to explore new places.
“All these experiences have been dearly missed as normal life has been put on hold.
“I know that those at the forefront of hospitality have missed their guests too, so I can only express my warmest appreciation for the resilience and fortitude shown by those in hospitality and offer my deepest sympathy to those who are struggling to keep their businesses going or are having to cope with the appalling misery of seeing their businesses go into administration.”
Prince Charles has issued a message ahead of pubs reopening today
Charles added he is hopeful for the industry can “secure brighter” times ahead.
He said: “I only pray we can begin to rebuild a vital and resilient industry and that the wonderful entrepreneurial spirit I come across so often can help secure brighter and much more sustainable times ahead.”
Nearly 200 members of staff working for Charles’ Foundation were furloughed, with their salaries funded by the foundation.
The gardens of Highgrove, Charles’ Gloucestershire home, are open to visitors but have been closed due to coronavirus.
Charles added he is hopeful for the industry can “secure brighter” times
Dumfries House, a historic Scottish country estate in Ayrshire saved for the nation by the prince, will reopen next week.
Charles said in his message: “I know full well from the enforced closure of properties run by my Foundation, both in Aberdeenshire and East Ayrshire, let alone the complete disruption of all charitable enterprises at Highgrove, just how far reaching the effects of the lack of trading can be.
“At Dumfries House, for example, the closure has had a direct impact on those who show more than 32,000 visitors around the house itself, and also those who work in the bed and breakfast, cafe and events business – not to mention, of course, the catalogue of suppliers whose businesses depend on this activity taking place.
“At Highgrove there has equally been a severe impact on the staff who look after nearly 40,000 visitors, as well as on the loyal suppliers to our shops.”
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Charles also spoke about how his staff employed by his Prince’s Foundation were affected
It comes after the Prince of Wales praised Tube workers for keeping London Underground running during the pandemic, telling them “I don’t know how you do it” during an engagement earlier this week.
Charles met the staff, who worked at the height of the coronavirus outbreak, at a Transport for London (TfL) training centre to hear their stories.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan, chair of TfL, hosted the visit and said the prince had asked for the meeting to personally thank workers for their efforts.
After chatting to a group of staff, who were socially distanced, the prince told them: “Thanks for doing so much, thanks for all your hard work, I don’t know how you do it.”
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In a lighter moment, Mr Khan revealed the heir to the throne had said he had been gifted some face masks with a tartan design: “He’s been given three. He’s looking forward to wearing them out and about and stuff – it’s not his own tartan by the way.”
The event was staged in the open air outside Ashfield House, a training centre near West Kensington Tube station in west London, to minimise any possible spread of the virus.
The Tube network has been running throughout the Covid-19 pandemic and maintained 50 percent of services at the height of the outbreak when a third of staff were ill, shielding or self-isolating.
Many of the drivers, station staff and other workers have since returned to the front line and now more than 90% of the timetable is operating.
Prince William admitted he didn’t know where to pay
Meanwhile, Charles’ son Prince William shared pictures of him enjoying a cider when he visited the Rose and Crown in the Norfolk village of Snettisham.
The duke and his family have visited the 600-year-old pub, hotel and restaurant, which is a few miles from their home of Anmer Hall, and William returned to show his support for Britain’s hospitality industry on the eve of customers returning.
After following health protocols and sanitising his hands with gel he asked landlords Anthony and Jeannette Goodrich: “Can I have a pint of cider please? I’m a cider man,” ordering a £4.15 pint of Aspall Suffolk Draught Cyder and a plate of chips.
The duke took a seat in the pub’s garden with the landlords, their head chef Philip Milner and duty manager Lucy Heffer, and when his drink and food arrived he joked: “I don’t know where I pay, I’ll do that before I leave, I promise.”