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Prince William and Kate Middleton make bagels in Brick Lane as they carry out visits in London - best photos

The Cambridges are back living in London

william kate bagels© Photo: Getty Images
Emily Nash
Emily Nash - London
Royal EditorLondon
Updated: September 15, 2020
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williiam kate dough© Photo: Getty Images

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge donned aprons and masks to try making bagels today on a visit to east London.

At the famous Beigel Bake in Brick Lane, William and Kate handled 7¼ lb piles of dough, kneading them into shape to make 30 4oz beigels.

And their famously competitive spirit was on display as they found themselves being judged on their technique.

After using sanitiser, the royals donned aprons and gloves and giggled as they got to work,

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!"

READ: Kate Middleton stuns in recycled dress for surprise public return with Prince William

WATCH: William and Kate visit Brick Lane bagel bakery as they carry out visits to businesses in London

william kate beigel bake© Photo: Getty Images

They heard about the impact this had on staff and of the bakery's work to donate and deliver food to the community.

MORE: Prince William and Kate Middleton celebrate Prince Harry's birthday apart - see photo

brick lane bagels

The royal couple were in Whitechapel for the third of three engagements to highlight how communities have weathered the Covid-19 pandemic.

Staff cheered as they arrived at Beigel Bake, a family business founded in 1974.

During lockdown the 24-hour bakery was forced to cut its opening hours and put most staff on furlough.

But the owners joined a food donation programme, Feast, and made deliveries to vulnerable people in the area and are starting to see business pick up, despite tourist numbers remaining low.

“We are so excited to come to your famous shop,” William told Amnon, 70, who started the bakery with his late brother, Asher. 

“We’ve been here 41 years, thank you for coming,” Mr Cohen told him proudly. 

kate with dough
william kate job centre© Photo: Getty Images

The royal couple started their outing at the London Bridge Jobcentre, where they heard how some employers are using the coronavirus pandemic as an "excuse" to cut staff. 

Afef Ben Khaled, who lost her job in a commercial bank in May and has been living on universal credit while trying to find a new job told them: "I'm getting interviews, but everything is very slow. In banking, we are also facing other uncertainties with Brexit."

Asked by the Duchess, who wore a red Beulah dress, whether other colleagues were in the same situation, she 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."

William responded: "I’m sure."

Speaking afterwards, Afef said: "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: Pippa Middleton shares a sweet connection with niece Princess Charlotte

kate william staff© Photo: Getty Images

William and Kate also met Maria Gadea Selles, a Spanish primary school teacher who has been living in London for seven years. She was furloughed in April and made redundant in July because of Covid-19. 

"Does it feel like a bit of a maze out there, what is it about the job centre that gives you confidence?" William asked. Maria told them: "They’re always calling me, always helping me, they suggest small things I can change in applications or in what I’m looking for."

MORE: Princess Beatrice takes stepson Wolfie shopping in London

william kate smile© Photo: Getty Images

The royals also met Victoria Bello, a fashion design graduate from London and former receptionist who has found a new role as a real estate co-ordinator, with help from a job centre work coach.  

"It was like having support from a friend, because it can be quite a depressing time," Victoria told them.   

The couple also spoke to employers who work closely with the Job Centre including Sandra McNamera, HR business partner at Leyland, who told them that the DIY firm has been hiring.

William joked: "In terms of DIY, men think they can do everything when it comes to DIY. I think that’s why everything falls apart."

william kate london bridge© Photo: Getty Images

Lloyd Graham, community engagement manager for the construction company Keltbray, told the couple how the firm is offering Higher Degree apprenticeships and is demolishing local buildings for the redevelopment of the Elephant and Castle area.  

William told him: "The children, especially Louis would love to come and watch that, to see the diggers, they love it."

Kate nudged him and said: "Don't forget Charlotte! She'd love it too."

william kate london muslim centre© Photo: Rex

The royal couple also visited the London Muslim Centre in Whitechapel, where volunteers have been cooking and delivering warm meals and medication to the most vulnerable in their community with financial support from the National Emergencies Trust, of which the Duke is patron.

william kate volunteers© Photo: Rex

William and Kate spoke to those providing and receiving the service and heard how the team have also been providing befriending calls to the isolated, vulnerable and elderly and counselling to women affected by domestic violence.

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