King Charles and Queen Camilla take in Punch and Judy show on visit to Covent Garden

'That's the way to do it!' The King and Queen meet crowds on a sunny afternoon in Covent Garden. Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

King Charles and Queen Camilla took in a Punch and Judy puppet show in Covent Garden as part of their first joint engagement since the coronation weekend.

Charles and Camilla met crowds and performers outside the Royal Opera House after a visit to celebrate the 390th anniversary of St Paul’s Church, known as the Actors’ Church.

Schoolchildren from nearby St Clement Danes Church of England primary school waved Union flags and shook hands with the King and Queen as they stood either side of the pathway leading up to the church.

The King and Queen then paused to briefly watch part of the puppet show on the church’s stairs before heading inside.

The King and Queen in the Covent Garden Apple Market Credit: Daniel Leal/PA

While the King greeted actors who regularly perform at the church through its in-house theatre company, Iris Theatre, the Queen spent time with the church’s Drama for Healing group.

The group was established in 2019 and works with women who have experienced domestic abuse.

The Queen was welcomed by the women wearing theatre masks, and was heard asking one member of the group if the drama classes were helping her and how long she had been coming to the church.

Before leaving the King and Queen examined the church’s visitor book which had been signed by the late Queen Elizabeth II when she visited in 1988.

The King took time to inspect the book before signing it himself.

Members of the public await the arrival of the King and Queen Credit: Daniel Leal/PA

The couple then headed out to Covent Garden to greet waiting fans and the King joked “I’m sorry we got in your way” as he shook hands with tourists from Singapore and Canada on his way to Covent Garden Apple Market.

Once at the market, the pair chatted with surprised traders and complimented their handmade items.

Afshan Shamas, 57, showed the King her handmade jewellery and made the King laugh by offering him a crown she had made.

The King meeting children outside St Paul’s Church Credit: Daniel Leal/PA

Joff Summerfield, 55, also met the King and explained everything on the stall was handmade.

He joked: “I did not sell him anything unfortunately, but hopefully I will have a big order come through.”

The King and Queen wrapped up their visit by meeting artists and staff from the Royal Ballet, the Royal Opera and the orchestra of the Royal Opera House.

The King became patron of the Royal Opera in 1975 and later became the president of the Royal Ballet in 2003 and patron of the Royal Opera House in 2009.

Outside the Royal Opera House, the King and Queen met choristers Amanda Baldwin and Luke Price, who performed at the coronation concert at Windsor Castle.

The King and Queen at St Paul’s Church Credit: Daniel Leal/PA

The performance was a collaboration between The Royal Ballet, The Royal Opera, the Royal Shakespeare Company, The Royal College of Music and The Royal College of Art, who came together for the first time to perform Somewhere from West Side Story.

Ms Baldwin was left stunned after the King recognised her from her time at the Royal College of Music and she suspected she had not met him since 1997.

The singer added she used to see the King regularly when he was the Prince of Wales and she worked at the Welsh National Opera.

Meanwhile, the Queen told the performers she has had the chance to rewatch the coronation concert.

The King and Queen also greeted students from the Royal Ballet School before waving at fans as they drove away from Covent Garden.

Listen to our royal podcast, the Royal Rota