'Never thought future king would help save the rave': Prince William calls business owners in Liverpool

Rebecca Taylor
·Royal Correspondent
·3-min read
Prince William discussed the lockdown restrictions in Liverpool. (Kensington Palace)
Prince William discussed the lockdown restrictions in Liverpool. (Kensington Palace)

Prince William has raised concerns about people’s mental health if they can’t go out and socialise, as he spoke to business owners in Liverpool.

William, 38, held a video call with Yousef Zaher, known as DJ Yousef, and Natalie Haywood, who both run businesses in the city, which is in the highest tier of lockdown.

Haywood, who runs wedding and events venues Leaf, Oh Me Oh My and One Fine Day, told the Daily Telegraph: “He was very focused on the well-being of things and spoke of the mental health catastrophe Britain will face if people aren’t allowed to experience social aspects of their lives.

“Yousef told him that music, socialising and being with friends is central to dealing with people’s mental health and William absolutely agreed with that.”

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Posting on Instagram, DJ Yousef, who runs Circus Events, Circus Recordings and the city’s The Circus nightclub, said: “[William] seemed genuinely interested and concerned and although recorded this wasn’t for a PR sound bite. It was just a discussion. He promised to take our concerns directly to parliament.

“He was cool, down to earth and nice, and fun too.

“When I begun (sic) djing over 20 years ago, I never thought I’d be invited to speak to the future King about how to help save the rave.”

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Haywood has had to temporarily close her venue Leaf on Bold Street to protect the business and has previously spoken about the difficulties of working during the pandemic.

“I think it’s impossible to overstate how difficult it has been during this whole period, but also how hard it is in the current climate, whether you’re closed and trying to survive on the support during closure or whether you’re open and trading with restrictions that are essentially strangling us,” she said in a video recorded for Liverpool City Council.

Posting online after the chat with Prince William she said: “Amidst all of the doom and gloom it was amazing to have the opportunity to speak to the Duke of Cambridge today about the challenges facing the hospitality industry in Merseyside at the moment. Thanks to the Duke for listening, it means a lot.”

Kensington Palace said William and the two business owners discussed the impact the COVID-19 outbreak was having on the hospitality industry.

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Liverpool city region is in Tier 3, which means pubs can only open if they are serving food and households cannot mix indoors or outdoors.

Prince William has been carrying out some engagements in person since he and his family returned to London for George and Charlotte to go back to school.

However he may find his public visits scaled back as London is now in Tier 2 restrictions, which could impact royal work.

Tier 2 bans households from mixing indoors, though engagements are part of the royal’s working day.

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