Prince William spent 45 minutes consoling cafe owner over Tier 3 lockdown

The Duke of Cambridge made a private Zoom call to a cafe owner after he saw her crying on Channel 4.

Natalie Haywood, owner of the Leaf Group, broke down about her struggles with making staff redundant and potentially closing her cafe for good.

On October 9, Prince William saw Natalie crying on TV and invited her to speak privately, along with DJ Yousef.

Both praised the Prince for spending 45 minutes chatting to them about Liverpool's hospitality industry and how hard it has been hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.

They revealed the royal wanted to know "what was going on on the ground in Liverpool".

Haywood shut the flagship Leaf restaurant on Liverpool's usually bustling Bold Street for the foreseeable future.

She said the closure was due to the Tier 3 restrictions and that if it closed, staff "were at least guaranteed two thirds of their wage'.

Prince William has warned of a "mental health catastrophe" sparked by lockdown rules on socialising in a video call to struggling business in Tier 3 areas.

During the video call with entrepreneurs, the Duke discussed the challenges the hospitality industry is facing, following a surge in Covid-19 cases recently.

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He spoke to renowned DJ Youseg behind the city's Circus club nights and Natalie Haywood, who runs wedding, events and restaurant venues Leaf, Oh Me Oh My and One Fine Day, both in Liverpool.

Bars and pubs in the city are shut, unless they can serve meals to comply with lockdown rules, The Sun reports.

Household mixing is also banned indoors and outside.

The Prince got in touch on Monday after hearing of the battles businesses are facing up and down the country, including Ms Haywood, who has made 40 redundancies of her 200 staff.

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She said: "William was extremely empathetic to our situation and really wanted to listen to what is actually happening on the ground.

"He was very focused on the wellbeing 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 absolutely central to dealing with people’s mental health and William absolutely agreed with that.

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She added: "He seemed particularly impressed with the way Liverpool is supporting businesses, like the ‘Without Walls’ campaign for restaurants to use pavements and roads for outside dining which was a great help before the current restrictions."

A royal aide said the issue of mental health was "always at the forefront of the duke and the duchess’s mind".

They said: "It’s clear that different parts of the country are feeling the affects [of the pandemic] in different ways.

"The entertainment industry is at the heart of the city in ways that it isn’t for other cities.

"Sometimes just listening to people can help provide reassurance that their voices are being heard.

"The Duke has been spending a great deal of time speaking to, and where he can, meeting communities across the country that have been affected.

"The mental health of the nation is always a priority.

"And it will only be in the coming months that we see how acutely this is being affected by what is happening."

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