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Kate and William visit Bagel bakery in London's East End
15 September 2020, 22:56 | Updated: 15 September 2020, 22:58
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have visited businesses and community buildings in the East End to see how they have been coping during the coronavirus lockdown.
Kate and William got stuck in when they visited east London's Beigel Bake Brick Lane Bakery to learn what has made the famous institution popular for more than 40 years.
The Duchess even tried out baking herself, impressing staff who had worked at the business for decades.
Fiona McVeagh, 64, who has worked at the eatery for 33 years, said: "They are pretty good, especially her - she clearly knows how to bake."
Wearing masks, aprons and gloves after sanitising their hands, the couple were given rough cuts of dough weighing more than seven pounds and Kate quickly kneaded hers into a round ball while William spent longer creating the right shape.
Each ball makes around 30 bagels and, after being complimented on her technique, Kate laughed and said: "Just wait until you see the aftermath. I had beginner's luck, they are getting worse."
The 24-hour bakery has become the staple of clubbers, shift workers and tourists drawn to its renowned salt beef bagels, which give a taste of the food once popular with the East End's former Jewish community - now largely replaced by Bengali Muslim residents.
Elias said the business had been helped by the fact that they had already started working on a home delivery app and have been working with a food donation programme, Feast, to distribute unsold bagels.
Today The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited communities, businesses and individuals in London Bridge and Whitechapel to thank those who have gone above and beyond to help others during this extraordinary time.https://t.co/AMZkk8xi5D pic.twitter.com/FvW4X6tV77— The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (@KensingtonRoyal) September 15, 2020
Later the couple toured the East London Mosque and London Muslim Centre, where they met staff, volunteers and local business leaders who helped provide food parcels to Muslim worshippers, as well as those with other and no faith.
The mosque's senior imam Mohamed Mahoud brought up the issue of mental health - championed by the couple through their Heads Together campaign - when he spoke to the royals.
The imam, who received an OBE from William last year for services to his community, said later: "I highlighted the issue of people increasingly needing support with their mental health - the Muslim community as well as the rest of the UK, who have been horrifically affected by the pandemic in terms of losing jobs and livelihoods."
He added that the visit by the royal couple had real importance for east London's Muslims, saying: "It recognises our existence first of all and contributions we've made and the sacrifices and the pains and struggles of people, especially from the BAME (black, Asian and minority ethnic) community."
Earlier in the day the royal couple visited the London Bridge Jobcentre, where they heard how some employers are using the coronavirus pandemic as an "excuse" to shed staff.
William and Kate met people whose jobs have been affected by the outbreak on the day new figures revealed that unemployment has risen to its highest level for two years.
Among them was Afef Ben Khaled, who lost her job in a commercial bank in May when her contract was not renewed.
The duchess asked Miss Khaled, who is from France and has been based in London for five years: "Are a lot of your colleagues who were made redundant at the same time as you, are they finding themselves 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."