On Wednesday, The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall visited the Bank of England to meet with the Governor, Andrew Bailey and staff, to hear more on how the Bank has been supporting the economy through the COVID-19 pandemic.
Wearing masks throughout their visit, Charles and Camilla were taken on a tour of the Bank, nicknamed ‘the Old Lady of Threadneedle Street’, where they met staff and were shown examples of a sustainability initiative to recycle old bank notes into everyday objects.
Since the start of the COVIID-19 pandemic the Bank of England announced a package of measures aiming to ‘help keep firms in business and people in jobs and help minimise the longer-term damage to the economy when COVID-19 subsides’. These have including cutting bank rates to reduce costs to businesses and households, and a number of schemes allowing businesses to receive incentives for lending, with the Bank’s Monetary Policy Commission continually reviewing the impact of coronavirus on the economy in order to support the UK.
As the central bank of the UK, the Bank of England’s responsibility is to ensure monetary and financial stability. This means that the Bank guards the value of money in the UK by keeping prices stable.
The Bank was established under the reign of William III and Mary II in 1694, initially to act as the government’s bank, to help fund imperial ambition through rebuilding the Navy.
The Prince and Duchess, who wore her dragonfly brooches, met with representatives of the Bank’s education and outreach programmes to hear more about the bank’s charity work and community engagement. Events organised through these programmes allow people to represent their views on how the decisions of the Bank affect them, and conversely to learn more about what the Bank does.
The Prince of Wales signed a £1 million pound promissory note, which has long been a tradition at the institution for visiting senior Royals, which it is bound to honour. However, the valuable document must remain at the bank for safe keeping with the Duchess joking: “So, I can’t pop it into my handbag.”
At the end of their visit, the royal couple joined a virtual meeting with Bank of England regional agents, who called in throughout the UK. Prince Charles found himself briefly muted as the online chat began, like so many of us have done on video calls in these last few months, as he spoke to the laptop stood on a podium.
— The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall (@ClarenceHouse) October 28, 2020