The Prince of Wales is said to be hoping the nation does not return to ‘squabbling’ after the sense of ‘unity’ that was evident over the Platinum Jubilee weekend.
Charles and his wife, Camilla, kicked off the final day of celebrations to mark 70 years of the Queen’s reign by meeting guests at the Big Jubilee Lunch at the Oval cricket ground in Kennington, south London.
The couple mingled with the 450 guests who included members of various organisations, as well as locals and a group of 70 volunteers from the Royal Voluntary Service.
Sarah Friar, CEO of neighborhood app Nextdoor, was among those who met Charles when he sat across from her at her table.
“He said at the end how great it was for everyone to get together this weekend,” she said.
“We see it with the neighbors, right? I’m from a company called Nextdoor, so people come together with the best people coming out. People who don’t know each other have fun.
Friar, who lives near San Francisco but is from Sion Mills in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland, said Charles commented: “When Monday comes, are we going to bicker again? Hopefully we won’t do that. Friar said it was “a wonderful thought” for all of us.
Gemma Snow, from the Eden Project – a tourist attraction in Cornwall – sat next to Charles and said he was talking about ‘maintaining that unity’.
Saturday night’s concert at Buckingham Palace was also the subject of conversation, with Friar saying Charles described it as “wonderful”.
Local resident Sonia Wilson also mentioned the palace party to Charles.
“He said, ‘I’m sorry to keep you from lunch.’ I said, ‘No worries, I had my marmalade sandwich,’” she said.
Wilson said Charles laughed and replied, “That’s a good joke, isn’t it?”
Singer Elaine Paige, Ambassador of the Royal Voluntary Service, met Charles and Camilla over lunch.
Speaking afterwards, Paige said: “I think they’re having a wonderful time. Obviously it’s quite the program for all of them.
“But I think he looked very relaxed and in good spirits, and I think his first comment was – because it was only half past 11 – ‘It’s a bit early for the lunch.'”
Speaking about the Queen’s skit with Paddington Bear, Paige said: “I thought to myself what a brilliant actress she was.”
She said the Queen had perfect timing and a “twinkle in her eye”, adding, “I think she’s just the most superlative actor. It was brilliant. Absolutely brilliant.”
Charles and Camilla saw a tea-themed 6m by 1.5m felt artwork by contemporary artist Lucy Sparrow when they arrived at the cricket ground event. The piece will go on display later this year in the Grand Entrance of Buckingham Palace.