Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall
A very royal double act took to the stage of a famous old venue on Thursday.
Prince Charles, 67, and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, 68, hit the stage at Wilton’s Music Hall in London’s East End – to re-open the restored Victorian gem, thought to be the world’s oldest grand music hall.
Charles, who first visited the magical place in 2006 and is a great supporter of preserving traditional and historic buildings, told guests he was “a sucker for these sorts of projects.”
The prince, who became patron of the musical hall soon after his first visit, said, “I’m thrilled to have had the chance of meeting at least some of the people involved in putting all of this back together again.
“I know how difficult these projects can be and the frustration of trying to find the money and everything else.”
The royal couple, who were greeted on their arrival by 2-year-old Clara Bierman, toured the building and met school children who were learning vaudeville songs or making decorations for the old music hall.
Charles even joined in with a rendition of “Ta-ra-ra Boom-de-ay,” a famous musical hall tune, when a group of school children began singing it.
Charles perked up and said, “Oh, I know the words to this one,” as he swayed to the music and joined in.
It was a “lovely, jolly affair,” a guest told PEOPLE. “It’s a building that touches people.”
Among the guests in attendance: English lyricist Sir Tim Rice and theater star Simon Callow, who introduced a review sketch that brought smiles from Charles and Camilla.
Callow told reporters, “In itself it’s a beautiful, beautiful theater, so any actor who walks into this place and [any] theater maker who doesn’t immediately want to do a show here must be dead – it’s just thrilling.”
Holly Kendrick, executive director at the hall, said, “Wilton’s is a sensational historic venue for the modern day, in the heart of the East End, and a celebrated home of culture and community spanning a huge variety of genres from theatre, dance and music to cabaret and comedy. After a lengthy transitional period, Wilton’s is officially back on the map and we are all tremendously excited for what this year’s program will bring.”