The Prince and Princess of Wales showed off their easy charm with the public as they posed for selfies in Soho this afternoon – even opening up about how Prince George is feeling about his starring role in the Coronation.
The royal couple were all smiles as they posed up a storm with well-wishers outside the Dog and Duck pub in central London.
Kate, 41, leaned into the frame for a candid relaxed snap with one fan, and grinned as she chatted with another.
While engaging with members of the public, Kate said their eldest child Prince George was ‘excited’ about the upcoming coronation and had been taking part in rehearsals.
When asked if George was ‘excited’ to be a Page of Honour at his grandfather’s Coronation, the Princess replied: ‘He is actually. Having done a few rehearsals, I think everyone is a bit more relaxed.’
The Prince and Princess of Wales showed off their easy charm with the public as they posed for selfies and made jokes while visiting he Dog and Duck pub in Soho
Meanwhile William, 40, also enjoyed some photos and made easy banter with the crowd as he quipped the family has a ‘quiet weekend’ ahead with ‘nothing at all’ planned.
Onlookers laughed as the prince waved the question off in jest while accepting some flowers.
King Charles’s son also told supporters that he’s ‘praying for good weather’ with the coronation just days away.
The pair were also seen holding hands with people in the crowd as they chatted with excited bystanders looking forward to this weekend’s festivities.
The couple made the trip to the Dog and Duck pub in Soho to pull pints and chat to hospitality staff ahead of the Coronation.
Kate’s naturally effortless indulgence of fans asking for selfies signals yet another move towards a more personable approach at royal engagements.
The prince and princess showed their natural rapport with members of the public at Royal Liverpool University Hospital earlier this year – shortly after Prince Harry’s scathing memoir Spare was released – as they posed for photos on fans’ personal phones.
Pictures of the couple appeared online after their visit, as delighted supporters posted their selfies.
Kate’s naturally effortless indulgence of fans asking for selfies signals yet another move towards a more personable approach at royal engagements
The royal couple, who made the trip to pull pints and chat to hospitality staff were all smiles as they posed up a storm with well-wishers
Excited royal fans took to social media to share their selfies with the royals, who visited a pub today
The Dog and Duck: Historic Soho boozer where George Orwell sipped absinthe and Madonna popped in for a pint
The Dog and Duck pub the Prince and Princess of Wales visited today was first built in 1734
The pub was originally built in 1734 on the Duke of Monmouth’s home, but the current site was built in 1897 by the architect Francis Cannon.
William and Kate are not the only famous faces to have stepped through the pub’s historic doors.
Novelist George Orwell celebrated with a glass of absinthe when his book, Animal Farm, was selected for the American Book of the Month Club.
The pub has hosted well-known individuals throughout the ages – from historical figures such as painter John Constable, who lived nearby, and poet Dante Gabriel Rossetti to popstars of our day and age, such as Madonna, who popped in for a pint.
The pub has welcomed Madonna, John Constable and Dante Gabriel Rossetti through its doors
The pub sits on the corner of Bateman Street and Firth Street, which are both rooted in royal connections.
Bateman street was originally called Queen Street, but it was renamed after Viscount Bateman who owned the Monmouth estate.
Frith Street was one of the original residential streets to be mapped out in Soho. The area was once a hunting ground for Henry VIII.
Although there is no official protocol on selfies, the royals have a rule against signing autographs, so that they can’t be sold for large amounts of money.
And in the early days of camera phones, they seemed to shy away from being snapped with members of the public with Princes William and Harry and King Charles all voicing their dislike of the method.
However, in recent years, they’ve become commonplace, with Charles posing for his first selfie all the way back in 2014, and other royals from Sophie Wessex to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle following suit.
The late Queen Elizabeth II was not a fan of selfies and would politely decline if ever asked to take one, as she was thought to prefer eye contact. However, this was more of a personal preference than a rule of any kind.
William has previously joked that he is ‘allergic to selfies’ while Harry once told a teenager that ‘selfies are bad’ and told her to ‘just take a normal photograph’ when she requested one in Australia in 2015.
However in recent times it appears some royals have grown fonder of the selfie, perhaps viewing the form of photography as way of embracing modern times and connecting with fans.
The royal couple has leaned more and more into selfies as the years have gone by, much to the excitement of fans
Kate, 41, put leaned into the frame for a candid relaxed snap with one fan, and grinned as she chatted with another
The princess spoke to excited fans as she and her husband stopped off at the pub for a royal engagement
Despite previously admitting he ‘hates’ selfies, the King was among the first royals to be seen stopping for a snap with fans after cheeky scaffolder Sam Wayne took a picture with him in 2014.
Two years later the same construction worker, from Redruth, reduced, Kate, then the Duchess of Cambridge, to fits of giggles as he snapped a selfie with them on a tour of a housing development in Cornwall.
Prince William pushed the trend further in 2014 when he actually took the picture himself while posing for a snap with a schoolgirl after she visited the Sandringham Estate on Christmas Day.
The then-Duke ended up photographing himself with the schoolgirl, Madison Lambe, 12, because she was too nervous to press the button on her phone.
William seems to have grown more accustomed to the selfie over the years, with the royal melting hearts when he put his tour of Ireland on hold to stop for a selfie with little girl Jennifer Malone in March 2020.
Kate has always seemed to be comfortable with the selfie, going viral in 2014 when she took a snap high-fiving a youngster in Christchurch before posing with various well-wishers on a walkabout in Sydney.
Meanwhile, Prince Harry welcomed the selfie after marrying Meghan Markle in 2018 when the pair happily posed for several photos with royal supporters during their 16-day tour of Australia, Fiji, Tonga and New Zealand.
It also seems that Queen Consort Camilla has always been on board with the selfie, having posed with various fans over the years.
As royal selfies appear to become more commonplace, fans may consider the practice a sign of a monarchy that is becoming more modern
Kate has always seemed to be comfortable with the selfie, going viral in 2014 when she took a snap high-fiving a youngster in Christchurch. Pictured chatting with fans today
William has previously joked that he is ‘allergic to selfies’ but today looked to enjoy them as he posed for the cameras
The prince made easy banter with onlookers as he visited and chatted with onlookers at today’s engagement
In June 2016, she proved she’s a good sport by snapping a selfie with staff member Biffy Mackay, 27, at the Social Bite café in Edinburgh, which feeds, trains and employs members of the homeless community.
Sophie, the Duchess of Edinburgh has also been spotted indulging fans who asked for a selfie when she smiled with a group of youngsters while previously attending the New Forest and Hampshire County Show.
As royal selfies appear to become more commonplace, fans may consider the practice a sign of a monarchy that is becoming more modern, as King Charles takes the reins.
It comes as William and Kate earlier today hopped on the London Underground as they made their way from Acton Main Line to Tottenham Court Road – where the Soho pub is located – on the Elizabeth Line.
Astonished members of the public watched them through the ticket barriers and walk along the platform.
The Prince and Princess wanted to meet and thank Transport for London (TFL) workers who will be working throughout the coronation weekend.
Asked about the royal family’s preparations for Saturday, Kate said: ‘Yes, it’s going to be a very busy time. We’re getting there. I still feel like we’re trying to get ducks in a row.’
After being handed their Oyster cards by an aide and welcomed to Acton station by Andy Lord, TFL’s commissioner, the couple met with Carinne Spinola, a train driver and Cameron Finch, a customer service assistant, and talked about their career aspirations.
Once on board the train, they sat with a group of TFL workers, including David Pearce, a fleet manager, Liam Grindley, a service and infrastructure manager and Maria Serco, a maintenance engineer.
Speaking about her conversation with Miss Spinola, Kate told the group: ‘It’s nice to meet a female train driver, obviously a profession women are keen on getting into. She said the job was advertised on Mumsnet.’
Meanwhile William, 40, made easy banter with the crowd as he quipped the family has a ‘quiet weekend’ ahead with ‘nothing at all’ planned
Onlookers laughed as the prince waved the question off in jest while accepting some flowers today
A bystander shared the hilarious moment when William joked that he has a ‘quiet weekend’ ahead
King Charles’s son also told supporters that he’s ‘praying for good weather’ with the coronation just days away
The prince pet an adorable dog as he enjoyed saying hello to crowds of delighted onlookers this afternoon
The pair were also seen holding hands as they chatted with excited bystanders looking forward to this weekend’s festivities
William charmed the crowd as he and Kate enjoyed a visit to the pub on their engagement today
It was the couple’s first trip on the Elizabeth Line, which the late Queen Elizabeth opened almost a year ago on May 17, 2022.
Royal aides said the couple do ‘occasionally’ travel by tube in a private capacity.
‘What’s the feedback you’ve been getting since it opened?’ William asked.
‘Everyone loves it,’ Mr Grindley told him, explaining how it had made many journeys across London shorter and easier.
‘And how green are we now,’ asked William, laughing. ‘You know I’ve got to ask that question!’
William heard how the line’s trains are electric, and how much of the earth that was dug up to build the line, was moved and re-used for a nature reserve. ‘It’s good, it clearly gets thought about now,’ he said.
Speaking to Miss Serco about the opening of the line last year, William said: ‘I can’t quite believe it has been nearly a year. It’s quite nice to get the chance to see it all, after my grandmother opened it.’
Asking the group which of them would be working this weekend, Kate asked: ‘Do you think there’s going to be extra pressure on the service during the coronation weekend? How do you manage that?’
Excited royal fans gathered in huge crowds to catch a glimpse of the couple as they arrived at the pub in Soho today
The Princess even took a few sips of her cider during her visit to the pub in Soho earlier this afternoon
Prince William and Kate were greeted by crowds of cheering royal fans, many of whom shouted: ‘We love you!’ to the couple
The couple were served pints of cider while they were chatting with members of staff working at the pub – and Kate took a sip
After the short journey from Acton, via Paddington to Tottenham Court Road, the couple were presented with gifts by Mr Lord – a plaque tile of a TFL Roundel, or ‘Crowndle’ as Mr Lord described it, inscribed with ‘King Charles III,’ and a TFL roundel lightbox for Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.
Dozens of stunned onlookers then rushed towards the escalator with their phones, to film the couple as they made their way up the escalator.
Speaking after the couple had left the station, Mr Lord said: ‘It was amazing to welcome them on their first visit on the Elizabeth Line. It’s coming up to the anniversary of the Queen opening it, and they were very impressed with it.’
Miss Serco said of William: ‘He was very interested in the technology, how we put the concrete in, the apprenticeships and training we offer. And I told him how much interest we’ve had from other countries around the world. It was really nice to thank them for all the royal family’s endorsement of the Elizabeth Line. We always knew we had their support. We feel the link to the royal family.’
Kensington Palace also invited tube and train enthusiast, Francis Bourgeois, whose real name is Luke, to ride on the train with William and Kate as an observer.
He has more than a million followers on Instagram, and royal aides said it was hoped he might bring the experience to a ‘younger audience’.
William and Kate then walked through the streets of London to the Dog & Duck Pub to hear how it’s preparing for the coronation weekend from members of staff and to meet representatives from other hospitality and recreation businesses in the area.
He and Kate talked to managers from local businesses expecting a boom in trade this weekend with extended opening hours for pubs and bars, music and other events. Among them were representatives from nearby Ronnie Scott’s jazz club, the Prince Edward Theatre, Bar Italia, and the Randall and Aubin restaurant.
A day out in Soho! Kate and Prince William appeared in high spirits as they chatted with punters in the pub
The Prince and Princess were keen to show their appreciation to hospitality workers in the city working the Bank Holiday
Meanwhile Prince William also appeared to enjoy a sip of the cider during a visit to the pub this lunchtime
Once inside the pub, Prince William tried his hand at pulling a pint under the watchful eye of a member of staff
‘I find you get the best conversations in pubs,’ William said. ‘People are more relaxed. Restaurants you don’t get it. You get it with the food but not the conversation.’
At one point he appeared to be talking about going out for a night out with former England footballer Wayne Rooney but he soon realised he was in danger of relaxing too much with the media in tow and said he would have to remember to keep his work head on. ‘A couple of vodkas and we’ll be all right,’ he joked.
The couple were served pints of cider – and Kate took a sip.
They were then accompanied by pub managers Chris Watts and Maria Sojkova behind the bar, where William poured a ‘perfect pint’, according to waitress Bernie Kidson.
It was the first pint of Kingmaker, a pale ale brewed to celebrate the coronation, ever poured.
‘Expertly done,’ Mr Watts said, flatteringly. ‘Not really,’ William replied, pulling the pump repeatedly. ‘I’ve not got too much experience or pulling pints. I’m not too bad at drinking pints but pulling pints…’
Bernie Kidson, the shift supervisor behind the bar, professed to be impressed. ‘Perfect,’ she said.
Chris Watts, area manager for Nicholson’s, the pub chain that owns the Dog and Duck, said: ‘We are going to be making use of the extended hours, some of our pubs will have special music events on.’
Selfie time! The future King appeared happy to snap pictures with royal fans who had gathered in Soho waiting for a picture
Prince William was in high spirits as he chatted with locals in Soho ahead of the Coronation this weekend
Making furry friends! Prince William could be seen stroking one pup as he met royal fans in Soho this afternoon
The Princess and the pup! The royal mother-of-three could be seen stroking a pet outside the pub today
The couple got on the London underground at Acton Main Line station and got off at Tottenham Court Road this afternoon
Prince William and Kate Middleton were getting into the party spirit today as they visited Soho ahead of the Coronation this weekend
Nicholson’s is also marking its 150th anniversary. ‘It’s going to be a weekend of celebrations,’ Mr Watts said.
The royal couple then left the Grade II listed building where they were met by hundreds of fans who lined the streets with calls of ‘we love you’.
People in the crowd travelled from as far as Australia, China, Canada and Texas to meet the royals ahead of the coronation on Saturday.
The princess was handed bunches of flowers, as was William, with one woman from Philadelphia saying: ‘I brought these for Kate but you can have them.’
She said the atmosphere in the area was ‘wonderful’ and that excitement for the coronation was ‘already starting to build’.
They spent around 20 minutes on a walkabout meeting well-wishers and posing for selfies with them, many of them foreign tourists over here for the Coronation.