The Duchess of Cornwall reminisced about the bands and hairstyles of her youth during a visit to some of the capital’s landmark entertainment venues.
Camilla revealed she was a fan of the Faces whose lead singer was a young Sir Rod Stewart before he found global stardom. She also joked about the “pain” of having a beehive hairdo.
The duchess and the Prince of Wales visited London’s famous music venue The 100 Club, where bands like the Sex Pistols, The Jam and Oasis have played, and then on to the Soho Theatre to watch an excerpt from a one-woman show.
Their visit came as a further show of support for the arts and entertainment sector which has been devastated by the pandemic.
In May, Charles raised concerns about how orchestras and theatres would survive the coronavirus crisis. As he toured the sites on Thursday he said he was “praying” entertainment venues would be able to reopen soon.
After a performance by singer-songwriter Emily Capell and drummer Matt Cowley at The 100 Club, Camilla said she was a big fan of the Faces and Sir Rod.
The duchess said she had seen them live and even asked Sir Rod to perform at her husband’s 60th birthday party.
She also complimented Capell on her beehive hairdo and joked: “I used to have my hair like that in the ’60s so I know your pain.”
Turning to Charles, Capell said: “And you like The Three Degrees, sir?”
Charles, 72, who was rumoured to have been romantically linked with Three Degrees singer Sheila Ferguson, laughed and said: “That was a very long time ago.”
Ruby Horton, daughter of 100 Club owner Jeff Horton, joked with Camilla about looking forward to cocktail hour and the duchess quipped “you can’t beat a margarita.”
The club has championed all kinds of music scenes from rock to jazz, and over the decades featured everyone from Blues legend BB King to punk rockers The Clash.
The venue has been a key case in London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s Culture at Risk initiative which Night Czar Amy Lame said has provided £2.3 million in emergency funding to support more than 140 grassroots music venues.
She said: “I am pleased we persuaded the Government to get rid of the 10pm curfew but extending it to 11pm, when it should be scrapped altogether, is a mistake.
“There are huge numbers of cultural venues that have still not been given the financial aid they need and thousands of freelancers left unsupported by the Government.
“London’s night-time economy needs a roadmap for its reopening, and suitable financial support so this vibrant sector can not only survive this pandemic, but thrive beyond it.”
At the Soho Theatre the royal couple were treated to an intimate performance of the one woman play Half Breed by Natasha Marshall – a shortened version that did not include a string of expletives that features in the full show.
The actress revealed she had to dash from her Morrisons supermarket job to do the gig of her life in front of the royals and was still wearing her uniform.
She told the prince and his wife: “I’ve got to go back later so it was easier to keep it on, I’ll be in such a rush. It’s such a pleasure to meet you.
“The theatre has supported me so much I jumped at the chance to perform today.”
Charles replied: “That’s marvellous, such dedication. I really enjoyed the performance and I am praying all of you can open soon.
“I wish you every success.”
The hospitality and entertainment sectors were completely closed during the first lockdown, putting venues at risk of permanent closure.
Many of the 1.6 million people employed at night, large numbers of whom are freelance, are still facing serious threats to their livelihoods as the industry continues to struggle.
Soho Theatre is planning to start welcoming paying guests for a selection of socially distanced small-scale performances as early as next week – its first live performances since March.
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