The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge ended their royal train tour on Tuesday by visiting the Queen and the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall at Windsor Castle. The fivesome were joined by other senior members of the royal family, including Prince Edward and wife Sophie and Princess Anne. The family gathered to celebrate essential workers and volunteers who have been providing care to those in need during the ongoing global pandemic.
The royal family adhered to strict social distancing rules and wore masks for most of the event, which included a performance by the Salvation Army band. Prince Philip did not attend Wednesday’s festivities even though it took place on his doorstep. The official royal website did not comment on his absence, but at 99-years-old, we think the Duke of Edinburgh probably needs a bit more rest than the rest of the family (including Queen Elizabeth, she has more energy than a teenager). The royals, minus the Queen, later greeted volunteers and workers from local organizations and charities who will be helping the vulnerable over the holidays.
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Wednesday’s event at Windsor Castle marks the final stop on William and Kate’s recent tour on the Royal Train. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have been traveling across England, Scotland and Wales to meet with workers and volunteers who have been helping those affected by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The couple began their tour in London, where they took time to thank rail workers who have been working tirelessly to ensure that public transportation remains a safe and viable way to get around during the pandemic. In Edinburgh, William and Kate met with paramedics and staff from the Scottish Ambulance Service and discussed not only the physical but the mental toll the pandemic has taken on essential workers. The couple also stopped by assisted living facilities and schools to speak to students and teachers about the ongoing efforts to keep the classrooms open and safe for all.
“Catherine and I felt it was extremely important to visit just some of the heroes that have emerged this year to thank you for all that you have done,” Prince William told volunteers at the FareShare Greater Manchester, an organization that helps those facing food insecurity. "You are the people that have not only kept our country going but have also helped warm all our hearts by showing us the very best of human nature.”
Kate and William have come under fire for their three-day tour, which some politicians were calling unnecessary and irresponsible in the wake of rising numbers of COVID cases in the UK. Travel between Scotland and England is currently illegal unless it’s for work purposes. Members of the Duke and Duchess’ team are reportedly stressing that the couple were working while on the train.
The BBC is reporting that during the couple’s visit with students at Cardiff University, Cardiff Metropolitan University and the University of South Wales, William admitted that the couple are still struggling with how to celebrate Christmas this year. "It is so difficult," said William about the upcoming holiday. "We are still trying to make plans. It's difficult to know what to do for the best."
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