William and Kate Made Their First Royal Engagement Via Video Call

Victoria Murphy
Photo credit: Kensington Palace

From Marie Claire

Their own children Prince George and Princess Charlotte have been at home since UK schools closed their doors to most pupils more than two weeks ago. But today, Prince William and Kate have highlighted the fact that teachers and school staff are continuing to provide much-needed care for the children of key workers during the coronavirus pandemic.

The royal couple took part in a video call with a school in Lancashire, north west England, where they thanked staff for their dedication in providing a “safe place” for children whose parents are carrying out vital roles, even during what are supposed to be the Easter holidays.

“We just want to say a huge thank you to you guys and well done in keeping it all going. Please pass on many messages of support for all the staff and all the volunteers—they’re doing a great job,” the Duke of Cambridge said during the call.

Photo credit: Kensington Palace

The Duchess echoed his words, saying: “Well done honestly to you and everyone who’s in during this time. It must be such a relief for all the parents who are key workers to know that the normality is there for their children—they’ve got the structure, and they’ve got a safe place for them to be, so really really well done to all of you.”

The couple spoke with staff and children at Casterton Primary Academy, which is near to Burnley General Hospital and has many children whose parents are key workers. The children told William and Kate about their parents' jobs, sharing why they were proud of their moms and dads, and showed the royals what they had made during Easter craft activities.

Photo credit: Kensington Palace

William and Kate laughed when the children and teachers appeared on screen wearing pink bunny ears. “We should have had our bunny ears on!” Kate said. They praised the children’s artwork and thanked staff. When they wished everyone a happy Easter, William said: “There’ll be a lot of chocolate eaten here, don’t worry” after which Kate told him: “You keep eating it!”

The Cambridges also heard about the challenges schools are facing at this time as well as how they are helping families with food deliveries and mental health support. Casterton Primary is currently open as a hub and taking children from four other schools. The charity Place2Be, which Kate has been Patron of since 2013, is supporting the program.

William and Kate are currently working from home and using phone and video call to stay connected to the causes they care about. A week ago they telephoned two hospitals to thank staff on the front lines of the outbreak. Before restrictions were placed on movement they went to an NHS 111 call center to highlight the service.

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