The King and Queen Consort appeared in good spirits as they visited a community kitchen at the centre of a new farm project.
King Charles, who has been a long-standing advocate for organic agriculture and eco-friendly initiatives, smiled and praised the work at London’s Community Kitchen in Christchurch Avenue, Harrow.
Accompanied with Camilla, the two toured around the kitchen on Thursday (December 15).
The kitchen is partnering with nearby Harrow School, which is opening its school farm to the wider community to help bring together the “diverse communities that make up London”.
Among others in attendance were London Mayor Sadiq Khan and Lord Liuetenant of Greater London Sir Kenneth Olisa, who greeted the royals as they arrived, alongside crowds of local schoolchildren singing Christmas carols and waving Union flags.
London’s Community Kitchen founder Taz Khan and head of projects Suzy Jakeman showed the monarch around the building, which includes a farm with chickens, a herb garden and a kitchen where mince pies were being baked.
Charles and Camilla shook hands with schoolchildren and volunteers waiting to meet him outside, with Camilla joking with a young girl: “Are you a bit cold?” and wishing others a “very happy Christmas”.
Suzy Jakeman, head of projects at Harrow Community Kitchen in north-west London, said the King had joked “I’d better not or I won’t fit into my clothes” when she offered him a slice of cake.
The monarch and Camilla also unveiled a plaque to officially open the kitchen’s Paddington Garden, which includes a herb patch and a chicken coop to help feed the local community.
Charles drank a cup of tea and chatted with volunteers about their work on the project.
A choir group began to sing festive carols as well as “God Save the King” during the visit.
Crowds of schoolchildren lined up waving Union flags to meet the monarch and Camilla.
Camilla, wearing a blue wool Anna Valentine coat with a scarf and boots, asked the students: “Who’s looking forward to Christmas?” and: “Have you been especially good?” before wishing them a “very happy Christmas”.
Harrow Community Kitchen and Harrow School Farm said in a joint statement of their new partnership: “Harrow School is pleased to be working with London’s Community Kitchen and local voluntary sector partners and stakeholders on an exciting new project with the school farm.
“This is an inspiring prospect that has the potential to grow into a ground-breaking environmentally sustainable community farm, opening a realm of possibilities for the diverse communities that make up London.
“The farm has huge potential and we are delighted to work with local community partners to ensure that many people are supported by the farm’s activities: continuing our commitment to use our estate for the benefit of the community.
“We are looking to establish the farm as a hub for innovation in agriculture, sustainable practices, educational opportunities and re-connecting the communities in London with green spaces.”