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Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, visit Tottenham to hear riot victims' stories
The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall have made a return visit to Tottenham to meet victims of August’s riots six months on from the violence.
The Royal couple visited the recently reopened Bruce Grove Post Office in High Road and met staff, before holding talks in the Pride of Tottenham pub with business owners rebuilding their livelihoods.
Prince Charles – who remarked on the nearby boarded-up Prince of Wales pub, closed in 2006, that shares his name – said he was “shocked” to hear that some traders were still waiting on insurance claims after their shops were burnt down by looters on August 6, and promised to do what he could to help.
Among them was jeweller Stephen Moore, whose shop – along with £500,000 of his customer’s goods – was destroyed. He told the Prince that all of his money and efforts was going into legal action to recover the costs.
The 57-year-old said: “Talking to him has made me feel a lot better – it feels like there’s someone else that’s on my side and I feel like I’ve been on my own for a long time.
“My business has been left in so many pieces – I’d been here for years and my customers trusted me, now I just need them to trust me a little bit longer.”
He added that insurers had given him just two cheques for loss of earnings and he had no hope of reopening his business in the area.
The couple then made their way to St Mary The Virgin Church in Lansdowne Road, where the Duchess of Cornwall met students Dean Pursey and Vina Andersson, who lost everything they owned when they fled their High Road flat after it was torched.
Camilla met the couple in Tottenham Green Leisure Centre in August, when Vina, 30, was considering dropping out of the university course she was due to start in September because all of her art equipment had been destroyed.
But the Duchess helped her put on an exhibition and sent vouchers so that the budding artist could replace the things she had lost.
Vina, who has now moved to Hornsey, said: “It was really nice to see her again – she’s a lovely and down to earth woman.
“I was not going to go to university but she convinced me otherwise and gave me a real morale boost.”
When the Prince and Duchess visited six months ago, they spent the afternoon at Tottenham Green Leisure Centre in Philip Lane and met Salvation Army volunteers, as well as some of the 54 families left homeless after fires ripped through flats in High Road.
Tottenham MP David Lammy, who accompanied the Royal couple today, said: “I’m very pleased that they have come back to visit and hear people’s stories.
“I think the Prince knew that the reputation of Tottenham was at stake and he can add huge value to that.”