From disco-dancing dogs to teddy bears going through the motions of self-isolation, for many locked-down global citizens the one thing that’s bringing a little joy into our lives in these dark days is the raft of amusing viral videos making the rounds on What’s App and other social-media platforms.
And it seems Prince Charles is among those who have been entertained (rather than irritated, as, it is only fair to point out, many have also been) by the tsunami of quarantine humor.
Writing in the British magazine Country Life on Wednesday, Charles, who was stricken with COVID-19 in March, said: “We have seen the very best use of technology, allowing people to keep working, but also to keep in touch through virtual parties, games, singing—and some of the funniest videos I have seen for a long time!”
In the true spirit of royal impartiality, Charles would not be drawn on which videos he found particularly amusing.
However it was revealed on Tuesday that Harry, Meghan and Archie had conducted a Zoom video call with the Queen this week to celebrate her 94th birthday, which she spent under lockdown in Windsor Castle. Prince William has also spoken of chatting to his family on video calls.
The article also contained some more serious thoughts, with Charles writing that Britain must never again take its farmers for granted. He said the country’s farmers are owed “an enormous debt of gratitude,” saying: “Food does not happen by magic.”
Charles also saluted the “heart-warming burgeoning of remarkable kindness and concern for those in need across the country,” including “younger people shopping for older folk, some making regular telephone calls to those living alone, church services recorded and emailed to parishioners.”
Charles, who previously praised shelf-stackers as an “emergency service,” said: “When was the last time anyone gave the availability of a bottle of milk, or a loaf of bread, or fresh vegetables a second thought?
“Suddenly, these things are precious and valued. And this is how it always should be. Food does not happen by magic.
“If the past few weeks have proved anything, it is that we cannot take it for granted. In this country, there are 80,000 farmers producing our food—from the Fells of Cumbria, to the arable and vegetable lands of East Anglia; from the Welsh Mountains to the Scottish fishing villages; from the dairy fields of Cornwall and Northern Ireland to the orchards of Kent.
“Day in and day out, they are working to produce food—for us. And we owe them an enormous debt of gratitude.”
Charles evoked the famous “Blitz spirit,” writing: “Now we need to rediscover that great movement of the Second World War—the Land Army (this time with men as well as women!)—and support the government’s ‘Pick for Britain’ campaign, with as many people as possible stepping up and going into the fields to see our harvest of vegetables and fruit safely gathered. The need is huge and, in some cases, urgent, as the spring vegetables are ready for picking.”
He added: “One of the most encouraging developments I have heard of during these past few difficult weeks has been the growth of local food-delivery services, often sourcing locally produced food—vegetables, eggs, milk, meat, juice, homemade pies, and cheese. With low food miles and simple, short supply chains, these initiatives are reminding us how things could be and they are serving to bind communities ever closer together, too.”