Prince Charles has been seen wearing in a face mask for the first time in public as he joined Camilla on a whirlwind one day trip to Northern Ireland.
The Prince of Wales, 71, and the Duchess of Cornwall, 73, arrived in the country this morning for a series of engagements in order to thank individuals who have gone the extra mile during the pandemic.
Prince Charles stepped out in a face covering for the first time since the start of the Covid-19 crisis, opting for a £6.50 mask crafted by seamstresses from his Turquoise Mountain Textiles programme.
The royal couple appeared in high spirits as they visited local communities and organisations during the busy one day visit.
In keeping with royal visits to Northern Ireland, details were not released in advance and the itinerary was not disclosed for security reasons.
Prince Charles, 71, was seen in a face mask for the first time as he joined Camilla, 73, on a whirlwind one day trip to Northern Ireland
The couple appeared in high spirits as they posed for snaps in front of a throne made for a party to celebrate the end of filming of the TV series ‘Game of Thrones’, during their visit to the Ulster Museum in Belfast
The Prince of Wales laughed with foodservice driver Stephen Taggart during a visit to the Henderson Group’s food and grocery distribution centre in Newtownabbey
Prince Charles opted for a smart navy suit and white shirt for the visit, and added a pale blue tie.
Meanwhile the royal also donned a turquoise face covering with a bold gold pattern during several engagements.
The facemasks worn by Prince Charles and Camilla during their visit were made by seamstresses who have been supported through the Turquoise Mountain Textiles programme, which was set up by The Prince of Wales in 2006 to protect heritage at risk and to provide training and jobs around the world.
The masks are crafted by artisans in Myanmar using handwoven heritage textiles to turn leftover stock fabrics f into unique and colourful face coverings.
Prince Charles opted for a turquoise face covering as he stepped out in a mask for the first time since the start of the Covid-19 crisis
Prince Charles played with his mask as he stepped out of a vehicle upon arrival in Belfast for his whirlwind day of engagements today
For every mask sold, the organisation is donating one to vulnerable communities in Yangon.
The royal couple arrived at the Ulster Museum in south Belfast on this morning at the start of a series of engagements in Northern Ireland.
Kickstarting a busy day of engagements, the couple met a number of young nurses who recently completed their training early to help with the coronavirus pandemic during a visit to the Ulster Museum in Belfast.
They thanked a number of young nurses who completed their training early to assist in the battle against coronavirus.
They spent time speaking with nurses outside the building, who transitioned early from Queen’s University Belfast and the Open University into clinical roles amid the health crisis.
Camilla shielded herself from the rain as she stepped out in Belfast today while wearing a deep green face covering
The facemask worn by Camilla was made by seamstresses who have been supported through Prince Charles’ Turquoise Mountain Textiles programme
The Duchess could be seen adjusting her face covering during the visit as she stepped into a vehicle
Camilla, who has been seen in public wearing face coverings on several occasions, opted for a green garment from Prince Charles’ charity on today’s visit
Fiona Pierce, who will qualify as a midwife at the Royal Victoria Hospital, said it had felt nice to be thanked for their contribution.
‘It’s been a different end to the course than what we envisioned but we all met it with great enthusiasm and so excited to be recognised as being able to support the workforce,’ she said.
Bronach Best, who works in mental health, said everyone had pulled together as a community of staff in the effort.
‘I think the public have been great, there was one occasion when I was going shopping in my uniform, and met a mum with her son who was wearing a Spiderman costume, and she said, ‘look there is a real life hero there’,’ she said.
‘It’s nice to be appreciated.’
Camilla and Charles kickstarted their busy day of engagements by meeting with nurses who transitioned early from their training to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic
Prince Charles spent time speaking with nurses outside the building, who transitioned early from Queen’s University Belfast and the Open University into clinical roles amid the health crisis
The royals thanked a number of young nurses in Belfast who completed their training early to assist in the battle against coronavirus
The royal couple also met museum employees, as the tourism and culture sectors reopen and look towards recovery in the coming months
Prince Charles had the group of staff at the Ulster Museum laughing as they walked through the grounds outside
Inside the museum, Charles and Camilla were shown an exhibition marking the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale, which also celebrates the contribution of nurses since the First World War up to the present day.
Moving through the attraction, the royal couple were also shown one from a series of six Rembrandt etchings, the first by the artist to be publicly displayed in Northern Ireland after the museum benefited from an agreement negotiated by the tax authorities to secure £150,000 owed to the Exchequer.
Charles took an interest in a handwoven replica of the famous Iron Throne from the HBO show Game Of Thrones which had been commissioned for the end of the fantasy drama of battles for power which was principally filmed in the region.
‘A frame of thrones,’ the prince quipped as he stood beside the piece for photographs.
After meeting nurses and midwives outside, the royal couple took shelter from the rain as they were later given a tour of the Ulster Museum
Prince Charles enjoyed a cup of tea during his visit to the mueseum today as he heard from staff how the organisation planned to recover from the Covid crisis
Once inside the museum, Prince Charles took an interest in a handwoven replica of the famous Iron Throne from the HBO show Game Of Thrones which had been commissioned for the end of the fantasy drama of battles for power which was principally filmed in the region
The royal quipped that the huge sculpture was ‘a frame of thrones’ while posing for photographs alongside Camilla at the museum
The royal couple heard from museum staff and volunteers about their work in getting the attraction up and running after it was closed for four and a half months during lockdown.
It reopened on July 30, managing visitor numbers through an online booking system, and have reported numbers remaining at just 25% of the usual footfall.
Before departing, the prince and the duchess met Belfast Lord Mayor Frank McCoubrey and city council employees who maintain the gardens outside the Tropical Ravine building.
The pair went on to split for further engagements, with Prince Charles travelling to a food and grocery distribution centre in Newtownabbey.
Staff at Henderson Group’s food and grocery distribution centre in Newtownabbey, near Belfast, carefully social distanced from one another as they awaited the arrival of the Prince of Wales
Prince Charles was given a tour of the centre before meeting with staff, whom he thanked for their efforts during the health crisis
Prince Charles carefully maintained social distancing from staff at the distribution centre as he heard about their work over the last few months
The royal appeared in high spirits during the visit to the food and grocery distribution centre, where he could be seen laughing and joking with staff
The royal appeared in high spirits during the visit, and could be seen beaming and laughing while meeting staff during his tour
Prince Charles appeared in high spirits today as he joined the Duchess to kickstart a whirlwind one day trip of Northern Ireland
Later, the royal addressed staff at the factory to thank them for their efforts during the Covid-19 crisis
He could be seen laughing and joking with staff while he thanked them for their efforts during the health crisis and heard of the unprecedented demand they faced in recent months.
Meanwhile Camilla visited Belfast & Lisburn Women’s Aid, where she met with staff, supporters and service users to hear of the challenges they have faced in recent months.
She wrapped up warm in a forest green coat and cosy scarf as she visited Belfast & Lisburn Women’s Aid.
The royal could be seen removing a light green face covering as she arrived at the engagement.
Once inside and out of the rain, the Duchess met with staff, supporters and service users to hear of the challenges they have faced in recent months.
The couple’s visit comes weeks after Prince William visited the country to mark Emergency Services Day.
The Duchess, a long-standing supporter of domestic abuse charities in the UK and overseas, met staff, supporters and service users at Women’s Aid
During the whirlwind engagements, the Duchess visited Belfast & Lisburn Women’s Aid to hear of the challenges they have faced in recent months
Meanwhile the Duchess wrapped up warm in a forest green coat as she joined Prince Charles for a series of engagements in Belfast today
Camilla carefully pinned a shamrock brooch to her lapel as she stepped out in Ireland earlier today
During his trip, the Duke of Cambridge, 38, spoke about how he struggled to talk about his emotions in a job that saw him encounter tragedy on a regular basis.
He opened up about his experiences flying with the air ambulance from 2014 to 2017 as he met serving blue light responders to discuss the importance of mental health support for those working in the emergency services.
William’s visit to Belfast had a particular focus on the mental health challenges many emergency services personnel face as a consequence of their stressful jobs.
Prince Charles’ visit to Northern Ireland comes days after he warned that as many as one million young people could need ‘urgent help’ due to coronavirus.
The royal, who is a long-standing supporter of domestic abuse charities in the UK and overseas, visited a not-for-profit organisation that supports those affected by domestic violence across Belfast and Lisburn
He said our youth was confronting a ‘uniquely challenging’ time amid the uncertainty of the Covid-19 pandemic.
In a rare intervention, Charles said the ‘destructive hopelessness’ of unemployment is facing Britain’s youngsters once again.
Writing in The Sunday Telegraph, he said the young are in particular need of measures to protect them from the worst effects of the crisis, adding that the country must not let optimism ‘drown beneath a deluge’ of economic predictions.
He added that while it is ‘all too easy to assume that nothing can be done… the task ahead is unquestionably vast, but it is not insurmountable.
‘There has never been a time as uniquely challenging as the present, when the pandemic has left perhaps another million young people needing urgent help.’
Reflecting on how he founded the Prince’s Trust charity in 1976, with the severance pay he got from the Royal Navy, Charles added: ‘I am old enough to remember other times when hope was scarce and pessimism seemed the only thing in abundant supply.
The Duchess smiled as she met with staff, supporters and service users of Women’s Aid in Belfast
During the visit, Camilla heard about the challenges they faced by the those using the service in recent months
The royal beamed as she spoke with members of staff and service users joining her visit to Northern Ireland today
‘In the mid-Seventies, when I left the Royal Navy, youth unemployment was one of the pressing issues of the time. It seemed to me that we should do something to try to make a difference, however small.’
The Prince’s Trust, has just helped its millionth young person, with research from the Trust showing that 55 per cent of 16 to 25-year-olds are more worried about being unemployed than they were a year ago.
The Prince’s Trust set up the Young People Relief Fund in the immediate aftermath of the pandemic to provide extra support to those hit by the economic fall-out.