King Charles unveils freezer during visit to food charity in London

King Charles praises efforts of ‘wonderful’ volunteers as he visits a food charity in London solo – while Camilla continues her Covid recovery

  • King Charles III today brandished a freezer during a food charity visit in London 
  • The royal, 74, toured the warehouse and kitchens of the Felix Project in Poplar 
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The King today praised the efforts of millions of ‘wonderful’ volunteers up and down the country.

And he urged organisations to nominate some of their most dedicated helpers for his wife’s Coronation Champions Awards.

The monarch was speaking during a visit to The Felix Project in East London, which distributes surplus supermarket food.

It is London’s largest food redistribution charity and works to tackle both food waste and food poverty, last year saving more than 12,000 tonnes of high-quality food which would otherwise have gone to waste.

Charles had been due to be accompanied by his wife, but the Queen Consort decided to pull out of the visit as she continues to recover from Covid.

The King today praised the efforts of millions of ‘wonderful’ volunteers up and down the country during a visit to a food charity  

Charles today unveiled a freezer as he made a solo visit to a food charity in east London – while the Queen Consort stayed back to continue her recovery from Covid

And the engagement appeared to be a hit with local residents, who were pictured waving and observing the monarch from nearby apartment balconies

The charity’s kitchen makes between 3,500 and 5,000 meals every day, ranging from chicken curry and rice to lentil bake and mashed potatoes.

And it relies on a dedicated 1,500-strong volunteer workforce to do it.

Unveiling a plaque to mark the visit, Charles said: ‘I must just say what a remarkable organisations the Felix project is.

‘I wanted to join in thanking them and congratulating them on the remarkable differences they are making all around this country. You are setting a fantastic example.

‘Above all, it is a wonderful example of volunteering at its best.

‘So I can’t thank you enough, and all the volunteers, who represent a remarkable number all around this country, who make so many valuable things happen in their remarkable way.

‘So thank you to all the volunteers. Hopefully there may be some Coronation Champions volunteers among you, never know. ‘ 

Buckingham Palace said Camilla had made an ‘excellent recovery’ but was taking time out ahead of a busy day of royal engagements on Thursday.

The royal, 74, grinned as he revealed the appliance from beneath a lime green sheet and spoke with volunteers at the Felix Project, in Poplar

‘That’s it!’ Charles laughed, brandishing the ice-box with a flourish and unveiling the new appliance 

Charles inspected the freezer he had flourished during his visit to the food charity in east London today 

Charles also spoke with food bank delivery drivers loading electric vehicles with cartons of groceries, listening intently as he learned about the organisation’s work

Charles spoke to charity workers while they loaded vehicles with food for the city’s most vulnerable

Charles, pictured during his solo visit, greeted food bank delivery drivers as he toured the charity today 

King Charles examined the freezer after unveiling it during his visit to the east London charity today 

Camilla, 75, contracted coronavirus recently for the second time and missed a run of engagements after suffering cold-like symptoms.

A Palace spokesperson said: ‘Her Majesty has made an excellent recovery from last week’s illness.

‘However, to allow for additional preparation ahead of Thursday’s rescheduled literary reception and other commitments, Her Majesty will not be attending today’s Felix Project engagement.

‘His Majesty’s diary remains unaffected.’

During his visit today/yesterday her husband remained ice cool under the pressure of unveiling a freezer for the first time A lifelong champion of the environment and sustainability projects, the King has made a ‘substantial’ personal donation to a £1million fund providing freezers and fridges to charitable organisations in need, including The Felix Project.

Alongside London mayor Sadiq Khan, Charles unveiled one of the new freezers making its way to Hackney City Farm as part of a scheme to distribute 800 fridges and freezers around the UK to local food banks.

A palace aide said: ‘It’s the first time the King has unveiled a fridge or a freezer’ and it will even be recorded on the court circular, the official record of royal engagements.

He also toured the kitchen where he was told how the charity is facing ‘unprecedented’ demand for its service with hundreds of new organisations on the waiting list to receive food.

Rosana Bailey, executive coordinator, said: ‘We received one of the King’s donated fridges in January and it has been incredible to meet His Majesty and thank him for this transformational gift.

‘Before we got it there was nowhere for us to store food and it meant sometimes we had to waste items – fresh food that should be helping those in need.

Charles smiled as he spoke with staff at the food charity. The Felix Project provides meals for vulnerable people in London

Charles pictured with volunteers. The organisation, which distributes surplus supermarket food, is London’s largest food redistribution charity and works to tackle both food waste and food poverty

‘Now, we can store the food and give it out on another day, it has made a huge difference to our service and our community, particularly at a time when the need is so high.’ One of the volunteers the king met was Angela Perry from Hackney, a part-time nurse who also helps out at The Felix Project two days a week.

She said: ‘I’ve always done some sort of volunteering. There’s a great team here. I sort stuff, date check, load vans, deliver to the charities, help in the kitchen. I love it so much if I come here for the morning I often end up working a double shift. I couldn’t encourage people enough to get involved. You get an amazing sense of satisfaction.

‘The king said to me ‘we need people like you’ two or three times and ‘you must love this’. He was lovely. He’s a good man.’

Nine days ago, on February 13, the Palace announced that Camilla had tested positive for Covid-19.

She missed visits to Milton Keynes, Birmingham and Telford last week and postponed a Clarence House literary reception to celebrate the second anniversary of her Reading Room book club, which is now due to take place on Thursday.

It comes as the King this week met with Ukrainian military recruits at a Wiltshire training camp to mark one year since the outbreak of war with Russia.

The King toured The Felix Project’s warehouse and kitchens, where volunteers were preparing and packing meals

Its kitchen makes between 3,500 and 5,000 meals every day, ranging from chicken curry and rice to lentil bake and mashed potatoes

More than two million meals have been distributed so far, to organisations which either help people with no access to cooking facilities, or provide meals but do not have the catering facilities to feed everyone using their service

The charity, in a partnership with The Prince of Wales’s Charitable Fund, recently received a starter fund of £1 million, including a substantial personal donation from the King

Charles looked to be intrigued as a volunteer appeared to talk him through the organisation’s kitchen set up

The king watched attentively as cooks in the charity’s kitchen showed off their culinary chops today

The monarch was pictured shaking hands with soldiers who are completing their five weeks of basic combat training from British and international partner forces.

The royal was all smiles as he greeted the men, who will return to fight in Ukraine once their training complete.

He also took part in a hongi – the traditional Maori greeting where two people greet each other by rubbing noses – as he met a solider from New Zealand.

The hongi is an important part of New Zealand’s culture and means the two people are now ‘unified’. 

While the soldiers were dressed in full uniform, Charles opted for more casual attire for his engagement this morning. 

Along with his camel-coloured corduroy trousers, he wore a blue shirt and maroon printed tie.

Charles was without his wife, who pulled out of the engagement as she continues to recover from Covid

The King was all smiles as he arrived at the engagement, which he was initially meant to attend with Camilla, the Queen Consort

The royal appeared to be in high spirits as he left the engagement earlier today, smiling at attendees 

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