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Governor Mark Carney gave Prince Charles a guided tour during a visit at the UK’s central bank, the Bank of England on 7 December 2016.
The Prince of Wales’ visit was aimed to recognise and celebrate the Bank’s mission to promote the good of the British people by maintaining monetary and financial stability.
Prince Charles also met with bank staff who gave him a private briefing on various issues including the state of the economy, rising house prices, cyber security, market updates and policy developments.
— Clarence House (@ClarenceHouse) December 7, 2016
They sat at a table which was said to have been used by every Governor since 1795. Mr Carney said, “A tremendous amount of mistakes have been made at this table.”
Prince Charles also saw the underground vaults where 400,000 gold bars worth than £100 billion (A$171 billion) worth of gold bars, each weighing around 13 kg.
However, Prince Charles wasn’t the only visit to the bank. He met a group of schoolchildren from Virginia Primary School in Tower Hamlets in East London who were on a school excursion.
It was said Mr Carney had invited the Prince of Wales during a visit to Clarence House in February 2016.
Prince Charles’ Previous Visits
Prince Charles last visited the Bank in 2002.
However, his first tour in 1979 was commemorated in a cartoon at the time, which now hangs on the wall in Mr Carney’s office.
The Prince saw the cartoon, which had been published in The Sun, wearing a bowler hat, and the caption, “Prince will sit with City bosses on the board.”
Bank of England Origins
King William III and Queen Mary II’s reign had brought political stability for the first time in nearly a century. Businesses were booming but the government’s finances were in a complete mess, thanks to the financial mismanagement by previous Stuart kings.
The Bank of England, the United Kingdom’s central bank, was founded in 1694, after calls for a public or national bank to mobilise the nation’s resources. The idea was inspired by Amsterdam Wisselbank in the Netherlands. Some sources claim it was the Sveriges Riksbank in Sweden.
Public subscriptions raised £1.2 million which was lent to the Government in return for a Royal Charter.
The Royal Charter was sealed on 27 July 1694, so the Bank began its role as the Government’s banker and debt-manager.
The Bank originally opened temporarily at the Mercers’ Hall in Cheapside with two gatekeepers and 17 staff. Later that year, it moved to a more permanent site at the Grocers’ Hall in Princes Street.
The Bank moved to its present site in Threadneedle Street in 1734.
Known as the Old Lady of Threadneedle Street, it is the second oldest central bank in the world, after the Sveriges Riksbank (Bank of Sweden), which was founded in 1668.