They famously never stand on ceremony.
And today the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, both 38, couldn’t resist getting their sleeves rolled up to make savoury treats at the famous Beigel Bake Brick Lane Bakery.
William and Kate – the duchess in particular – handled 7 1/4 lb piles of dough with ease, kneading them into balls big enough to make 30 4oz beigels.
Complemented on her technique, Kate laughed: ‘Just wait until you see the aftermath!
‘I had beginner’s luck, they are getting worse!’
Kate Middleton and Prince William helped to knead dough as they visited Brick Lane’s famous Beigel Bake today to highlight how communities have coped during Covid-19.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, both 38, who lived at their Norfolk home of Anmer Hall during lockdown but are believed to be back at Kensington Palace, travelled to London Bridge and Whitechapel earlier, where they celebrated the traditions of London’s East End by making Jewish bagel snacks and meeting with Muslim volunteers supporting the community during the coronavirus outbreak.
The couple, who have not appeared together in public since July, appeared relaxed during the outing, and were said to be keen to shine a light on individuals and businesses who have gone above and beyond to help others during the pandemic.
Kate rewore a £550 pretty red floral gown by Beulah London for the appearance in the capital, with the dress featuring a bold white collar, and paired the stunning piece with nude heels and her floral mask.
Kate Middleton and Prince William, both 38, helped to knead dough as they visited Brick Lane’s famous Beigel Bake today to highlight how communities have coped during Covid-19
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who are currently staying at their London home of Kensington Palace, were cheered as they arrived at the bakery
The couple went on to speak with employees about the coronavirus pandemic and discussed the challenges of lockdown on their business
Employees at the East end bakery cheered as the Duke and Duchess arrived for their visit today, before asking if they had ever tried a beigel from the store
The rose red Calla shirt dress from the British brand is described online as evoking a ‘classic mood’. Crafted from silk crepe de chine, the dress is trimmed with a contrasting white cotton broderie lace collar and also features cuffed balloon sleeves.
She wore her hair in her signature bouncy blow dry and kept her makeup neutral for the event.
The couple travelled to Brick Lane to try their hand at bagel making at East London’s famous Beigel Bake Brick Lane Bakery.
Beigel Bake was opened in 1974 and has thrived as a family business, opening 24 hours and churning out on average 3,000 beigels a day.
But they were forced to drastically reduce their opening hours as a result of the health crisis and most staff were put on furlough.
The owners refused to let it dent their optimism, however, helping to deliver food to vulnerable members of the local community and taking part in a food donation programme, Feast.
Today business is still tough, having lost the tourists that would come to Brick Lane to try its delicacies, but most of the staff have been brought back.
As the couple arrived, the employees cheered in delight.
The couple wore masks as they arrived at the bakery in London before donning aprons and helping out in the shop by kneading some dough
‘We are so excited to come to your famous shop,’ William told Amnon Cohen, 70, one of the co-founders, who started it with his late brother, Asher Cohen.
‘We’ve been here 41 years, thank you for coming,’ Mr Cohen told him proudly.
The couple were slightly muffled through their masks but waved at the ladies behind the shop counter, Fiona McVeagh, 64, who has worked there for 33 years, and Dalia Urbanik, 43, who has been there for 16.
‘We are so happy to see you,’ shouted Fiona.
‘We’ve heard there are very famous beigels in here,’ said William.
‘Have you ever had one?’ She asked.
‘No, not here,’ he replied.
‘You got a bit of everything,’ said William, looking eagerly at the counter, which was groaning with cakes as well as their signature breads and beigels.
‘Why are your beigels so good? Is it a special recipe?
‘How are you all doing?’
‘We are struggling on, you know,’ replied Fiona.
Kate asked about deliveries. ‘I hear you make 3,000 beigels a day. Amazing,’ she remarked.
‘How has the supply chain been?’ asked William. He was told that had been fine although sanitation products had been hard to get hold of.
Eyeing up the goodies, William remarked: ‘This is a dangerous shop to be in!’
The couple were taken through by Amnon’s son, Elias Cohen, 27, to watch the beigels being made from scratch.
‘I’ve been told you boil them, is that true?’ Asked Kate.
‘Yes it gives them that chewy texture which everybody loves and expects,’ said Elias.
In fact the bagels are boiled for around three minutes before being baked for 20 minutes at around 550F.
The couple were then handed aprons, hand sanitiser and gloves and tried their hand at kneeling the dough.
‘What’s the weight?’ Enquired Kate.
The couple laughed and giggled as they were told to kneed and squeeze the dough but earned the approval of Amnon Cohen and his business partner, Sammy Minzley.
They carefully placed their dough balls into trays ready for the next stage in the process – being fashioned into small balls and placed into a mechanical shaper.
They did such a good job, Fiona could be heard to shout jokingly ‘you’re after my job!’
She added admiringly: ‘They are pretty good, especially her. She’d clearly knows how to bake.’
‘Thank you for your help,’ said Amnon. ‘No worries,’ replied William, smiling behind his mask.
The couple left with a goodie bag of baked gifts and brown paper bags of beigels handed to their staff by the team.
Afterwards a tearful Amnon said it was the ‘proudest moment of my life’.
Speaking later Elias said it had been a tough time for the shop.
He said: ‘We have seen big changes, unfortunately. We had to reduce our hours. We initially remained open 24 hours but people weren’t coming to the shop. We had to furlough our staff. Fortunately we were later able to slowly expand our hours again and are now open 24 hours again. It’s steady, we are serving. But it’s not like it was before. It’s definitely quieter.
‘Funnily enough people were upset when they found we weren’t open 24 hours because this place is such an institution.
‘We have never lost our sense of family and community, though. And we never will.’
Elias said the business had been helped by the fact that they had already started working on a home delivery app of their own – Beigel Bake – and a social media push had been hugely successful in getting word out that they were open again.
The shop has also worked with a food donation programme, Feast, to distribute unsold bagels.
But he said he felt as optimistic as he could about the future. ‘We have adjusted well and if lockdown happens again we are in a better position to cope,’ he said.
The royals also travelled to the nearby East London Mosque and London Muslim Centre in Shadwell, and chatted to volunteers who cooked and delivered meals to vulnerable members of the community during the pandemic and dropped off medication or grocery parcels.
William and Kate also met those who benefited from the support, a project which has received financial help from the National Emergencies Trust – which has William as its patron.
The royals began their day at the London Bridge Jobcentre, where the duke and duchess spoke to a group of customers who are now jobless following the Covid-19 outbreak and are receiving support to move back into work.
Employers also spoke about their experiences trying to help people find jobs during the outbreak.
Prince William and Kate’s last public appearance together came at the beginning of July, when they visited the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn to mark the 72nd anniversary of the NHS.
The couple appeared relaxed as they donned red aprons while working in the kitchen at the bakery and could be seen kneading dough on their visit
The Duchess rewore her £550 pretty red floral gown by Beulah London for the appearance, with the dress featuring a bold white collar.
The Duke and Duchess, who spent lockdown at their Norfolk home of Anmer Hall but are believed to be back living at their London base of Kensington Palace, appeared relaxed as they helped out at the bakery
Prince William opted for a cosy blue jumper for the occasion, matching the knit with a smart pale blue shirt and his denim style mask
The loved-up couple laughed as they spoke to staff and their families at the hospital which has treated 450 patients with Covid-19 during the global pandemic.
The Duke and Duchess are understood to have relished the upsides of lockdown, which they spent at their home of Anmer Hall in Norfolk.
No foreign tours, no away days, no business of state has meant the Cambridges have been able to spend a huge amount of time with their young brood.
William has managed to keep up his work through numerous Zoom calls to charities, volunteers and carers across the UK, and both husband and wife have jollied the nation’s mood through dark and difficult times.
Once the laptop is closed, William has enjoyed helping George with his homework, painting with Louis and chasing Charlotte round the garden. Pitching tents, camping outside, growing tomatoes and peas from seeds and watching their sunflowers grow has been the order of the day.
The couple carefully hand sanitized and wore their masks while inside the mosque, before chatting with volunteers who had helped vulnerable members of the community during the crisis
Kate donned her Liberty print mask for the occasion, opting for a dark smokey eye and bold brow for the visits in the capital earlier
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge during a visit to the East London Mosque where they chatted to volunteers who cooked and delivered meals to vulnerable members of the community during the pandemic
The Duke and Duchess appeared in high spirits as they visited the East London Mosque where they chatted to volunteers who cooked and delivered meals to vulnerable members of the community during the pandemic
The Duke and Duchess stood in the late September sunshine while hearing about how the community supported the vulnerable during the pandemic
Lazy afternoons can be spent at sea – in a small boat in the calm waters off the Norfolk coast, or enjoying the seaside at a beach hut on a local stretch of golden sand where they can run with Lupo the dog.
At other times, the Anmer Hall kitchen has been an ‘explosion of flour and chocolate’ while the family bake cakes and biscuits.
Their visit today comes hours after royal fans were left outraged after the Duchess of Sussex was left out of photos shared on social media to mark Prince Harry’s 36th birthday.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, the Queen and Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall posted a total of four photographs of the Duke of Sussex to mark the occasion but his wife Meghan Markle, 39, did not appear in any.
The omission riled royal fans who took to the comments section to say it was ‘shady’ of family members to ‘literally cut Meghan out of the picture’.
In response to William and Kate’s photo, which shows the Cambridges and Prince Harry in a 2017 running race, one fan noted: ‘There must have been hundreds of photos you could have picked, but you chose to post one of Harry, William and Kate. I’m sure not including Meghan wasn’t unintentional.’
It comes after the strain in relations between Prince William and Harry, who were once inseparable, were laid bare in the Duke and Duchess of Sussexes’ biography Finding Freedom. Co-author Omid Scobie later claimed the brothers went two months without speaking following the Sussexes’ bombshell Megxit announcement.
More recently the Queen was said to have been caught off guard by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s $150million deal with US media giant Netflix.
According authors Carolyn Durand and Omid Scobie, the rift between the two brothers began in 2016, when Harry and Meghan first started dating – and was sparked by a conversation during which William urged his younger brother to slow the romance down and to ‘take some more time getting to know Meghan’.
Earlier today, Prince William and Kate Middleton led birthday tributes to Prince Harry, sharing a snap of them as a trio in happier times when they raced each other on a visit to London’s Olympic Park in February 2017
The bombshell biography also reveals that the siblings ‘hardly spoke’ in the months after that tense chat, with sources close to the royals alleging that this bitter rift between the brothers only grew wider after the Duke and Duchess of Sussex tied the knot in 2018.
Their already-fraught relationship then suffered another blow at the start of this year, the book details, when Harry and Meghan announced that they were quitting their roles as senior members of the royal family and would be splitting their time between the US and the UK.
Indeed, speaking last month, Scobie claimed Princes William and Harry cut communication for two months after Megxit and said their relationship ‘will take time to heal’.
However Prince Harry and Prince William are said to be in the process of repairing the relationship, with the Covid-19 pandemic bringing the brothers closer together.
In a separate interview, Durand said they are slowly ‘making their way back to each other’.
‘Like in any family, there have been some ups and downs, but the brothers are making their way back to each other,’ Durand said. ‘And that will take some time.’