Royal Corner

Will & Kate to Tour UK To Thank Frontline Workers

The Duke and Duchess will embark on a three-day tour of England, Scotland and Wales to thanks community workers who have gone "above and beyond".

DECEMBER 6th, 2020

© Getty Images


he Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are set to embark on a three-day tour across the UK aboard the royal train. The tour is to thank community workers and frontline staff who have gone “above and beyond” to help their local communities in response to the pandemic. The train trip will be the first time the Duchess has travelled on the royal train, and the couple will set off on their mini tour this evening.

The 1,250 mile-journey will include stops in England, Scotland and Wales and has been established on the request of the UK government, with the itinerary purposefully scheduled to ensure that coronavirus guidelines are followed throughout. To safeguard this, the locations of the visit are to remain secret until a few minutes before each stop. This is to minimise any crowds which may be present and to guarantee social distancing is followed throughout the three-days.

The Royal Train will take the couple across the UK over the three-day tour. - © AP

However, one location which was revealed was Windsor – where the couple will meet-up with the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall at the end of the tour.

The tour will begin today (Sunday) and end on Tuesday at Windsor Castle.

A Kensington Palace spokesman said: “The Duke and Duchess are very much looking forward to shining a spotlight on the incredible work that has been done across the country throughout this difficult year and to sharing their gratitude on behalf of the nation for all those supporting their local communities ahead of the Christmas holidays.”

Throughout the three-days, William and Catherine will speak with those who have been fighting the pandemic on the frontline, as well as those who have been helping their communities with mental health support being a focus.

The UK arts sector will also be celebrated – an industry which has taken a devastating hit throughout the pandemic – with a number of festive performances set to take place across the three-day tour. In conjunction with this focus, the couple personally requested that 10-year-old schoolboy Joe Whale, better known as “doodle boy”, create a special drawing to mark the occasion.

The Duke and Duchess meet with NHS staff at the Pride of Britain Awards - © ITV/Pride of Britain

Joe, who found worldwide fame during the pandemic for his YouTube tutorials, tweeted his thanks to the couple for choosing his artwork, saying: “It’s been a huge honour to collaborate with @KensingtonRoyal to produce my interpretation of the start of The Royal Train Tour.”

The Royal Train, which although is one of the more expensive forms of Royal travel, it has also become one of the more environmentally friendly. This is due to the train running on 100 percent biofuel – produced from selected waste vegetable oil derived from rapeseed or sunflower cooking oil – for all royal journeys since 2010.

However, the fuel was initially trialled on the royal train in 2007 by the Prince of Wales for a visit to Scarborough where EWS (English Welsh and Scottish Trains) revealed the trip up the East Coast main line had reduced CO2 emissions by 19 per cent.

Whilst the tour will be the Duchess of Cambridge’s first trip on the Royal train, for Prince William, has already experienced the exclusive form on transport, most notably to travel from London, to his mother’s ancestral home of Althorp, after her funeral in 1997.

The Prince has visited the Royal Marsden Hospital to support NHS nurses and Doctors as well as Cancer patients. - © Getty Images

William and Kate have been actively supporting our NHS key workers and community helpers throughout the pandemic. The Duke helped launch the NET Coronavirus Appeal, which has raised almost £100 million (on November 7th, 2020). The couple’s royal foundation donated £1.8 million to ten leading charities at the heart of mental health and frontline support, through a bespoke fund set up as part of the organisation’s response to COVID-19.

The funds have since helped all emergency responders have access to grief trauma counselling, peer-to-peer support, an additional 2,780 hours of support for the UK’s ambulance community and enabling the charity CALM to respond to 2,300 more contacts a month.

Furthermore,the Royal Foundation’s donation has enabled their Shout 85258 initiative to received 250 more text conversations from people who are struggling to cope every day. Provided extra support for teachers, children and their parents through Place2Be and The Anna Freud Centre as schools re-opened. And also supported to help deliver a Digital Outreach Programme and maternal mental health training to Home-Start volunteers and midwives. This has resulted in an additional 20,000 expectant and new mothers being supported by Baby Buddy, the NHS approved pregnancy and parenting app.

The Duchess curated and launched the Hold Still gallery – a national photography project to tell the story of the country throughout the pandemic, which has been viewed more than half-a-million times since its reveal. She also helped support Baby Banks earlier this year, by visiting Baby Basics in Sheffield, and persuading 19 British brands to donate more than 10,000 new items for more than 40 banks across the UK.

Kate launched the Hold Still project to create a national portrait of the pandemic. - © Hold Still/KensingtonRoyal

All of this work has been conducted on top of the launch of Prince William’s Earthshot Prize – the most prestigious environmental award in the world, and the recent reveal of the findings from Kate’s 5 Big Questions survey last week.

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