Prince Charles uses namaste greeting at Prince's Trust award

Rebecca Taylor
Royal Correspondent

Prince Charles has again adopted the namaste greeting as he met Ant and Dec and other celebrities at the Prince’s Trust awards.

The royal has been avoiding shaking hands amid the coronavirus pandemic, and has instead used a Buddhist greeting when meeting people.

On Monday, he used it at the Commonwealth Day service, while his son Prince Harry took to elbow bumping with Craig David.

And on Wednesday, Charles used the greeting at the awards, where he was meeting ambassadors for his charity which support young people who are unemployed, struggling at school and at risk of exclusion.

The Prince of Wales greets Pierce Brosnan with a Namaste gesture. (Press Association)
The Prince of Wales goes to shake the hand of Sir Kenneth Olisa, The Lord-Lieutenant of Greater London. (Press Association)
But he soon realised his mistake. (Press Association)
Instead he went back to the namaste gesture. (Press Association)

It comes as his mother, the Queen, starting shaking hands again at her Buckingham Palace audiences.

Last week she donned gloves during an investiture ceremony, but then had them off the next day for an audience. Earlier this week, she avoided shaking hands when meeting the Sri Lankan High Commissioner but then shook hands with Professor Mark Compton, Lord Prior of the Order of St John.

On arrival, Prince Charles was photographed going in for a handshake, only to quickly pull his hand back and laugh.

Turning to Dame Martina Milburn, Charles said: “It’s just so hard to remember not to.”

Read more: Queen shakes hands again after coronavirus ban

The Prince of Wales greets Levi Roots at the palladium. (Press Association)
Charles met Chris Ramsey, the comedian, ahead of the awards. (Press Association)
Charles greets Michaela Coel (centre) with a Namaste gesture. (Press Association)

The Prince’s Trust awards were hosted by Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly at the London Palladium, and rewarded young people who have “succeeded against the odds”.

The awards included a performance by Craig David, and was a star-studded affair, with Pierce Brosnan attending, as well as Richard E Grant and Chris Ramsey.

Also at the event was Pierce Brosnan and James Norton, sportswoman Dina Asher-Smith and musician Ronnie Wood.

The Prince of Wales also referenced Covid-19 during his speech at the London venue, acknowledging that the plans had been changed because of the spread of the virus.

Read more: Chancellor announces £30bn coronavirus spending package

Michaela Coel and Richard E Grant elbow bump as they take to the stage to present an award. (Press Association)


Charles meets Craig David at the Prince's Trust awards. (Press Association)

He said: “Due to circumstances beyond our control we are not joined by as many of those who make such an immense difference to my trust internationally, as we originally planned.

“However, I just wanted to thank them for all their continued support and dedication to my trust.”

He also joked about Ant and Dec’s string of accolades, saying: “They recently won their 19th National Television Award for best presenter.

“So perhaps it is a little bit refreshing for them to be handing out awards rather than receiving them for a change.”

Richard E Grant wore black gloves and elbow-bumped Bafta-nominated actress Michaela Coel as they took to the stage to present Charleigh Morritt with the rising star award.

Prince Charles on stage at the awards on Wednesday. (Press Association)
Ant returns the greeting as people avoid shaking hands. (Press Association)

Charles founded the Prince’s Trust in 1976, to help people aged between 11 and 30 who are leaving care, facing homelessness or have mental health problems.

Three in four of the people helped by the trust go on to find work.

Winners on the night included Heathfield Community School who raised money by running bingo nights and selling vegetables they had grown to then entertain the 54 residents of Moorhaven Care Home with Christmas presents and dinners.

Read more: Prince Charles urges world to react to climate change with same urgency as coronavirus

Charleigh Morritt was also recognised for overcoming crippling anxiety which saw her unable to leave her home. She is now a full-time law student.

On stage, the hosts joked about the panic buying situation, particularly in relation to toilet paper.

McPartlin quipped that the winners would be “leaving here with a holiday, a new car and lifetime’s supply of toilet roll”.

Donnelly replied: “No, that’s the other show, that’s Saturday Night Takeaway. This is the Prince’s Trust.”

McPartlin said: “Oh, I always get those mixed up. Although we had big cheers on the free toilet roll. That went down well, didn’t it?”

Royal Family members have been making a few jokes about coronavirus at engagements in the last few weeks, but Charles also used it to point out that global responses can be facilitated to serious threats.

On Tuesday, he called for a similar level of response to climate change as has been given to coronavirus.