Charles greets Ant and Dec with namaste gesture at Prince’s Trust Awards

The Prince of Wales uses a Namaste gesture to greet television presenters Ant McPartlin (left)and Declan Donnelly as he arriv
The Prince of Wales uses a Namaste gesture to greet television presenters Ant McPartlin (left)and Declan Donnelly as he arrives at the annual Prince's Trust Awards 2020 held at the London Palladium.

The Prince of Wales greeted Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly with a namaste gesture at the Prince’s Trust Awards, as the spread of coronavirus continues to affect royal protocol.

At the Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey on Monday, the prince similarly greeted people with the non-contact gesture.

He used his speech at the awards on Wednesday, which recognises young people who have succeeded against the odds, to thank international supporters who were unable to attend due to the spread of Covid-19.

He told the audience at the London Palladium: “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.”

National Prince’s Trust Awards 2020
Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly on stage at the annual Prince’s Trust Awards (Yui Mok/PA)

Charles aimed a quip at his co-hosts over their ongoing success at the National Television Awards.

He said: “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.”

National Prince’s Trust Awards 2020
Michaela Coel and Richard E Grant greet each other with an elbow-bump (Yui Mok/PA)

Among the guests were actors Pierce Brosnan and James Norton, sportswoman Dina Asher-Smith and musicians Ronnie Wood and Craig David.

Taking to the stage, McPartlin and Donnelly joked about the trend of shoppers panic-buying 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?”

National Prince’s Trust Awards 2020
Ronnie Wood on stage (Yui Mok/PA)

Later, they thanked the international members of the audience, telling them: “Welcome to London. Sorry about the weather, and the self-isolation. Don’t shake hands.”

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.

Earlier, Charles was met on the red carpet outside the London Palladium by Dame Martina Milburn, chief executive of the trust, and John Booth, its chairman.

Charles extended his hand to greet Mr Booth before withdrawing it in mock horror and greeting him with a bow and namaste prayer movement.

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


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