The Prince of Wales, 72, and the Duchess of Cornwall, 73, toured the city’s cathedral as well as an art gallery and an old hospital on Tuesday – days after Prince Harry accused his father of making him ‘suffer’ as a child in his new AppleTV+ five-part show The Me You Can’t See.
In candid interviews with Oprah Winfrey, the Duke of Sussex dropped another nuclear ‘truth bomb’ on the Royal Family accusing them of ‘total silence’ and ‘neglect’ when Meghan was suicidal, and insisting he would not be ‘bullied into silence’ when he alleged ‘The Firm’ ‘trapped’, smeared and dumped them.
It was business as usual for Charles and Camilla today; visiting the cathedral for the first time, Charles and Camilla were met by the Bishop of Coventry, the Rt Rev Dr Christopher Cocksworth, and the Dean of Coventry, the Very Rev John Witcombe.
This afternoon the Duchess of Cornwall visited the Coventry Central Library, where she read an excerpt from the Very Hungry Caterpillar to local children and their mothers. Meanwhile Charles took a trip on the heritage boat ‘Scorpio’ on the Coventry Canal and cut a cake during his visit to the Coventry Church Municipal Charities Bond’s Hospital.
Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles were all smiles as they visited Coventry today as part of celebrations marking its status as 2021 UK City of Culture
Charles adopts his signature namaste greeting to meet members of the British Asian Trust at Herbert Art Gallery and Museum in Coventry
This afternoon the Duchess of Cornwall visited the Coventry Central Library, where she read an excerpt from the Very Hungry Caterpillar to local children and their mothers
The Duchess put on an animated display as she read from the popular children’s book during her visit to Coventry Central Library
At the cathedral the couple observed a service of thanksgiving which included the litany of reconciliation – recited every weekday at the site as an act of solidarity and wartime remembrance.
Camilla looked stylish in a black and blue ensemble, while Charles opted for a smart blue pinstripe suit with a white shirt and yet another animal-themed tie.
The original cathedral was bombed by the Luftwaffe during an air raid on the city on November 14, 1940, which killed 600 people. The ruins have remained as a monument to peace, while a new cathedral was built next door and consecrated in 1962.
That consecration, attended by the Queen, took place 59 years ago to the day. During the service, the prince sat in the chair his mother used during her visit nearly six decades ago.
The royal couple viewed the Altar of Rubble, built from the bombed-out remains of the original cathedral, including two fire-blackened roof beams forming a cross.
They were also shown the 1977 Reconciliation Statue, which shows a couple embracing across barbed wire, and toured the new cathedral.
Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall are accompanied by Lord-Lieutenant of the West Midlands, John Crabtree (right) on their arrival for a visit to Coventry Cathedral in Coventry
Camilla looked stylish in a blue dress with cream detailing on the collar, which she teamed with a black cape jacket over her shoulders and her faithful black suede knee-length boots
It was business as usual for Charles and Camilla today; visiting the cathedral for the first time, Charles and Camilla were met by the Bishop of Coventry, the Rt Rev Dr Christopher Cocksworth, and the Dean of Coventry, the Very Rev John Witcombe
The royal couple viewed the Altar of Rubble, built from the bombed-out remains of the original cathedral, including two fire-blackened roof beams forming a cross
Prince of Wales takes in the ruins of the old Cathedral during a visit to Coventry Cathedral in Coventry. The original cathedral was bombed by the Luftwaffe during an air raid on the city on November 14, 1940, which killed 600 people
Speaking during the thanksgiving service, the bishop said: ‘The consecration of Coventry Cathedral, 59 years ago, took place in the presence of Her Majesty the Queen, and it is a deep joy, Your Royal Highnesses, that you have graced us today with your presence.
‘Throughout decades of public service, His Royal Highness has been dedicated to the nurturing of understanding between peoples, to building peace in the world and to the restoration of hope among those who might despair.
‘Time does not allow me to pay proper tribute to those efforts to improve community relationships, deepen inter-faith understanding and raise the aspirations and life chances of young people.
‘But, if I may, I would like to draw attention to the way – in the Balkans, in Northern Ireland, in the Holy Land and elsewhere – His Royal Highness has spoken poignantly about the futility of vengeance, the need for enemies to build bridges that reach out to each other so that they may become friends and the power of forgiveness. These principles lie at the heart of the ministry of Coventry Cathedral.’
Speaking during the thanksgiving service, the bishop said: ‘The consecration of Coventry Cathedral, 59 years ago, took place in the presence of Her Majesty the Queen, and it is a deep joy, Your Royal Highnesses, that you have graced us today with your presence’
The service at the cathedral today took place before the building’s font, which is carved from a stone brought from Bethlehem (pictured)
The City of Culture showcase, taking in a broad spectrum of mediums, including theatre, music and street performances, had its official launch delayed because of Covid-19. Pictured: Charles and Camilla with the Bishop of Coventry, Rev Christopher Cocksworth
The couple observed a service of thanksgiving which included the litany of reconciliation – recited every weekday at the site as an act of solidarity and wartime remembrance
During the visit today, the Prince of Wales laid a wreath and lit candles at a short service where the Coventry Litany of Reconciliation will be said as an act of solidarity and remembrance
A grinning Prince of Wales is pictured meeting and chatting to school children during the visit to Coventry Cathedral in Coventry
The service took place before the building’s font, which is carved from a stone brought from Bethlehem.
As Charles and Camilla left the cathedral there were cheers from a crowd who had gathered outside.
The City of Culture showcase, taking in a broad spectrum of mediums, including theatre, music and street performances, had its official launch delayed because of Covid-19.
Charles and Camilla then made the short walk towards the nearby Herbert Art Gallery & Museum. Outside there was a street performance by artists, some on scooters and bicycles, prompting Charles to tell them: ‘Very energetic.’
Once inside the gallery, Charles and Camilla were given a tour of the 2-Tone: Lives and Legacies Music Exhibition by lead curator Martin Roberts and The Selecter frontwoman Pauline Black.
The exhibition is celebrating the city’s status as the home of ska music – a blend of traditional Jamaican music, as well as reggae, punk, rock and rocksteady genres.
Britain’s Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, pictured as they arrived for a visit the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum in Coventry
Charles visits Daimler Powerhouse in Coventry. Later the prince, as patron of the British Asian Trust, met supporters of the Oxygen for India appeal, which has so far raised more than £4 million towards providing critical help for people in India suffering with Covid-19
When the prince asked Ms Black, ‘Is it soul music?’, she replied: ‘No, it’s not soul music – it’s something called ska music.’
Later, showing some of the exhibits to the duchess, surrounded by displays including Fred Perry shirts and pork pie-hatted musicians, Ms Black pointed out an image of The Specials’ founder member Jerry Dammers, asking her: ‘Do you know the song Free Nelson Mandela?’
When Camilla said she knew the tune, Ms Black said: ‘Well, Jerry wrote that.’
Afterwards the prince, as patron of the British Asian Trust, met supporters of the Oxygen for India appeal, which has so far raised more than £4 million towards providing critical help for people in India suffering with Covid-19.
Praising the ‘fantastic’ work of the attendees, Charles said: ‘I cannot thank the Indian community enough, here – the diaspora – and of course the wider community, globally, for supporting all these people so in need.
As Charles and Camilla left the cathedral there were cheers from a crowd who had gathered outside. Pictured: Charles greets the public during a visit to the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum
‘I sympathise with all those who have been so cruelly affected by this crisis, who’ve lost their loved ones. And of course it seems as though every member of the diaspora, here in the United Kingdom, knows someone affected so I can understand even more how much it means.
‘I particularly want to show my appreciation, as far as the trust is concerned, which has been able to begin a meaningful emergency appeal and action to ensure that oxygen concentrators have got to India and have been dispatched to rural areas, through partners, to where there is a real need.
‘Clearly, you know better than I, there is much more that is needed to be done to provide support and of course to help build back better.
‘Once again, I cannot thank you enough; for your response, the degree to which you’ve responded and the amount of money that’s been raised and pledged makes such a difference and personally makes me very proud.’
Yesterday Charles urged small family farmers across the world to ‘come together in a global cooperative’ and to find ‘strength in numbers’ to deal with future upheavals in the agriculture industry.
He called for the plight of farmers to be at the centre of environmental action as the industry undergoes a ‘massive transition’. His comments came amid claims the UK’s post-Brexit trade deal with Australia, which would open up British markets to farmers Down Under, would make it ‘all but impossible’ for family farms ‘to compete with vast volumes of imports’ from overseas.
In a piece penned for the Guardian, the Prince of Wales said family farms needed to be a ‘key part in any fair, inclusive, equitable and just transition to a sustainable future’, noting that more than 100,000 family farms had been lost in the last 30 years.
He wrote: ‘There are small farms the world over which could come together in a global cooperative committed to producing food based on high environmental standards.’
It’s been a difficult few days for the royals. Last week Lord Dyson’s damning report into how Martin Bashir secured his 1995 BBC Panorama with Princess Diana found the shamed journalist hoodwinked her with an elaborate fiction that painted some of those closest to her as traitors. He commissioned fake bank statements to secure his, but covered up his ‘deceitful behaviour’ in a ‘shocking blot’ on the BBC’s near 100-year history.
The Duke of Cambridge said Bashir’s deceit hastened his parents’ divorce, ‘hurt countless others’ and fuelled the ‘paranoia and isolation’ of his mother’s final years, while Prince Harry – who is based in California – also responded saying his mother ‘lost her life because of this’.
On Friday Harry launched another attack on The Firm in his latest interview with Oprah, arguing he and wife Meghan felt ‘trapped’ with ‘no option to leave’.
Harry said his family tried to prevent him and Meghan from leaving when she was having suicidal thoughts, insisting they were ‘neglected’ and ‘trapped’ but have no regrets about quitting for LA
‘I thought my family would help, but every single ask, request, warning, whatever it is, just got met with total silence, total neglect,’ he told the chat show host. ‘We spent four years trying to make it work. We did everything that we possibly could to stay there and carry on doing the role and doing the job. But Meghan was struggling.’
He added: ‘That feeling of being trapped within the family, there was no option to leave. Eventually when I made that decision for my family, I was still told, “You can’t do this”, And it’s like, “Well how bad does it have to get until I am allowed to do this?”. She [Meghan] was going to end her life. It shouldn’t have to get to that.’
Royal biographer Phil Dampier said Harry’s trip to unveil a statue of Princess Diana with his brother William on July 1 will now be in ‘grave doubt’, especially after the Duke of Sussex said London is a ‘trigger’ for his anxiety.
And royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams said there is now ‘clearly a huge gulf between the Royal Family and the Sussexes’, while Harry’s biographer Angela Levin called his appearance ‘phoney and embarrassing’.