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Prince Charles was the guest of London Mayor Sadiq Khan earlier today as he met a group of TfL staff at a socially-distanced meeting. During the engagement, Prince Charles joked about having received a few face masks with a tartan pattern. Reporting their conversation on face coverings, Mr Khan said: “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.”
Face coverings became mandatory on London public transports on June 15.
Despite the meeting being focused on the heavy toll taken by COVID-19 on TfL staff, Prince Charles appeared to be happy to have resumed face-to-face engagements.
Chris Jackson, the photographer who followed Prince Charles during this meeting, said the senior royal appeared to be in high spirits.
The photographer wrote on Twitter: “The Prince of Wales was certainly in high spirits today, he seemed very happy to be back ‘out and about’.
“The handshakes have been replaced by a ‘namaste’ but there was definitely a ‘great to be back’ feeling with the Prince looking very jovial, right until the moment he left!”
The Prince of Wales highly praised the TfL staff who continued to work as cases of COVID-19 were peaking in the capital.
He told them: “Thanks for doing so much, thanks for all your hard work, I don’t know how you do it.”
As later revealed by Mr Khan, it was really important to the Prince of Wales to meet Tube and bus workers who allowed London to run as smoothly as possible over the past three months.
The Mayor of London said: “He reached out to us and said ‘I want to say thank you, because I know you’ve kept the city going’.
“The great thing, he’s met everyone from cleaners who are crucial to keeping public transport clean, the deep cleaning, to the commissioner – so you can see the response in their faces.
“There’s a ripple effect with him coming down, they’ll speak to their colleagues who will speak to their colleagues, but their families will know that His Royal Highness came to say thank you.
“But for the public transport running during the lockdown, NHS workers, care workers, those who work in shops wouldn’t be able to get to work to serve our city.”
In the height of the pandemic, TfL staff had to pay a high toll for continuing to serve the city.
As many as 44 drivers and members of the staff have died of coronavirus since late March.
The Tube and bus network has been running throughout the COVID-19 pandemic despite a third of staff being ill, shielding or self-isolating during the darkest weeks of the crisis.
The meeting took place in the open air, where scientists believe there is less risk of contracting coronavirus.
The event was staged outside Ashfield House, a training centre near West Kensington Tube station in west London.
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