Prince Charles Meets Children In Coventry

28 January 2019, 18:17 | Updated: 28 January 2019, 18:26

Prince Charles

The Prince of Wakes met school children and tried out an electric taxi made in Coventry.

The Prince of Wales looked as if he was waiting for a fare when he got behind the wheel of a London black cab - but he did not have much luck.

Charles tried out the electric taxi, which had just rolled off the production line, during a visit to cab manufacturer the London EV Company in Coventry when he toured the Midlands.

The heir to the throne already has eco-friendly cars he uses in public and private, from his £60,000 Jaguar I-Pace, which takes him to official engagements, to his prized Aston Martin DB6, which runs on bioethanol fuel.

During his visit, Charles was shown a collection of heritage vehicles representing the firm's 70 years of black taxi production, from the FX3, released in 1948, to London's new electric taxi, TX eCity, which went on sale last year.

Charles later visited his shoemaker Tricker's in Northampton, and was shown wooden moulds, known as lasts, used to make shoes for the Queen, Gringotts goblins from the Harry Potter films and size 22 lasts for former American basketball star Shaquille O'Neal.

Established in 1829, the company has held a Royal Warrant from the prince since 1989 and decades ago established a reputation for its heavy country boots and shoes for farm, estate owners and the landed gentry.

Charles wished the firm happy birthday during his visit, saying: "Many congratulations everybody on reaching your 190th birthday.

"Sorry it has taken me 190 years to get here. Marvellous to see such a highly skilled operation. I do congratulate you and I hope you manage to keep it all going for many, many more years."

Earlier Charles was left impressed when he visited a project marking his 70th birthday - an unloved, historic building with peeling wallpaper and damp.

The prince visited Coventry's Drapers' Hall to learn more about a £5 million project to transform the 19th century building into a music venue and education centre for young musicians.

The project is one of the "7 for 70" initiatives - a collection of ambitious schemes to create community regeneration projects across the UK to mark the milestone birthday.

Geoff Willcocks, vice chairman of Historic Coventry Trust which is working with Charles's The Prince's Foundation to revive the hall, said: "I think the prince thought it was a fantastic project.

"Now seeing it in the flesh, he can actually appreciate how beautiful this building is and how incredibly well preserved some areas are."

After visiting a shoe manufacturer that has been trading for 190 years Charles ended his day by visiting one of the country's newest footwear firms, Gaziano & Girling in Kettering.

He watched as Chelese Porter, 29, showed off her stitching skills as she made a shoe and the worker said afterwards: " I was honoured and very proud to show a dying skill.

PA Image.