Prince William and Kate hanging out at a Soho bar

  • Written by Sean Coughlan
  • Royal reporter

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Watch: How far does the Prince of Wales haul a pint?

There’s nothing like a quiet pint if you’re the Prince and Princess of Wales.

Prince William and Catherine arrived at the Dog and Duck with crowds thronging the narrow streets of Soho in the heart of bohemian central London.

Tried to be a bartender, Prince William pulled out a pint of beer aptly called “Kingmaker.”

The royal couple traveled to Soho on the Elizabeth Line, named after the prince’s grandmother, the late Queen.

The visit to the pub was lunchtime to support the work of the hospitality industry in the run-up to the coronation – an explanation not many of us could use convincingly.

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Royal visitors invited to Soho’s Dog and Duck

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Prince William tried to pour himself a pint of kingmaker

“You only get the best conversations in a pub…everyone is relaxed. You never know who you’re going to meet,” said Prince William, speaking inside the pub.

This might be a view shared by local drinkers who’ve heard plenty of tall tales, but who would have believed them seeing Prince William and Kate popping into the dog and the duck?

As the coronation weekend approaches, Prince William said his son, Prince George, was excited about the big day.

Outside, Katherine shook hands with people in a growing crowd, even though every one of them was filming it on their phones it was a momentous decision whether to shake hands or keep recording.

Prince William, in the spirit of modernization, pioneered the era of the no-tie royal, and arrived at the pub in a blazer and open shirt. And so, taking the reins, it seemed that all his courtiers had thrown off their neck robes.

They must have said that the only people in the post-Covid world who wear ties are newsreaders on TV, people at funerals and other people on royal visits.

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Crowds gathered as Prince William and Catherine walked inside a Soho bar

Matching a chic red outfit, which you’re very likely to see on the front pages of newspapers, Katherine posed behind the bar in a way that would make Peggy Mitchell proud.

These visits are an alien version of real life. A helicopter was flying overhead, police had set up cordons and in the midst of it a man in a white coat was trying to deliver meat, mystified as to what was going on.

The Dog and Duck have had famous visitors before. Madonna is seen here and in the 1940s author George Orwell’s haunt – and even his worst nightmares about the surveillance society could not have predicted the sheer number of camera phones capturing every moment.

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It’s one of those pubs in London full of antique mirrors and ultra-modern fares, and it’s often frequented by Soho media types, which means people have been craving their jobs here for generations.

It has long been part of the big pilgrimage to Soho bars, such as The French House and Coach and Horses.

But the serious part of the visit was recognizing the efforts of those in the hospitality industry who will be working over the coronation weekend.

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The royal couple grabbed Elizabeth’s line on a pub picnic

Bars, restaurants and hotels are hoping for a coronation boom, with extended licensing hours.

This includes retail, entertainment and transportation as well as emergency services.

For some, the pub might be seen as part of the emergency services – but for those who want to enjoy a pint over the weekend, there has to be someone else working in the bar to serve.

But on Saturday, Prince William and Catherine will be busy elsewhere on a different kind of service.

So they pulled into the parking lot outside Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Bar, where people were hanging from the windows filming their disappearances down Frith Street.

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