After departing from the Euston Station on Sunday evening, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who hold the title of The Earl and Countess of Strathearn in Scotland, arrived in Edinburgh for the first stop of the Royal Train Tour. William and Catherine, who is travelling around the nation to pay tribute to those who worked hard during the pandemic, spent the night on the Royal Train.
The Royal couple was welcomed in Edinburgh with the Christmas music of bagpipes played by the piper Louise Marshall. They were received by the Deputy Lord Lieutenant Sandra Cumming at Edinburgh Waverley Station.
Today, the couple, who have been championing the NHS throughout the pandemic, became the joint patron of NHS Charities. There are more than 240 NHS charities across the UK and most of them focus on helping our hospitals do more. Collectively these charities give £1 million every day to the NHS so that people can stay well for longer and get better faster. In recent years NHS charities have funded major capital projects, pioneering research and medical equipment at our hospitals, helping patients access the best possible care when they need it most.
The NHS Charities plays an important role in mobilizing volunteers to support NHS staff, brightening wards and waiting areas with colourful and engaging art and building an important link between hospitals and communities. These charities support mental health trusts, community health trusts, and ambulance trusts. The chair of NHS Charities Together Ian Lush said, “The involvement of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will inspire the public even more to support the amazing NHS staff and volunteers who have done so much to keep us safe and well this year. We can’t wait to start working with the Duke and Duchess, the potential is so exciting.”
The first stop in the Scottish city was the Newbridge ambulance response station. The station is the frontline of the NHS in Scotland with over 5000 highly skilled members of staff who are committed to helping patients and saving lives.
The Scottish Ambulance Service received some funding from NHS charities during the pandemic and has spent the money on indoor and outdoor wellbeing spaces for staff and wellbeing packs with information booklets and reusable water bottles.
At the ambulance service station, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge talked with first responders about the strains of working through the pandemic and how they and their colleagues coped with the ongoing mental health challenges that came with the crisis. The Ambulance station had been under additional pressure during Covid-19. The Daily Mirror reported,
He and Kate also heard from paramedic Alistair Matson, 54, had to cope with his father falling sick and later dying in the hospital during the pandemic.
Mr Matson said: “It was very emotional talking to the Prince about losing my father. He was very anxious to hear how we managed to cope with the mental strains of our job. “I was helped considerably by the great sense of camaraderie at my work. There was never any rush to come back and they have been like another family to me.
It was really heartening to see the Royal couple here today acknowledging what we do and their thanks mean a lot to us.”
Ahead of the visit, Kensington Palace informed that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s visit on Monday had added poignancy as it falls on the day the Scottish Ambulance Service remembers a colleague lost to Covid-19. Continuing from Daily Mirror,
It emerged during their visit that the couple had made a special gesture to Rod Moore’s family. The veteran paramedic died last month after he re-enlisted in April four years after his retirement. The Falkirk 63-year-old’s funeral was due to take place during the royal visit.
A SAS spokesman said: “I know that Rod’s family greatly appreciated the flowers sent on behalf of the Royal Family. It was a lovely gesture.”
The second stop of the Royal Train was Berwick upon Tweed. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge met with the staff and pupils at Holy Trinity Church of England First School. About the visit, headteacher Nicholas Shaw said,
“It has been fantastic and the children loved it. We feel honoured to have been chosen and appreciate they are taking the time to think about teachers and the work that has been going on in schools. It has been a challenge during the lockdown, a lot of new skills have been learned. We stayed open throughout for children of key workers and vulnerable children”.
They were welcomed by the excited school children who sang Christmas songs. The visit came as a pleasant surprise to parents who were told to dress children smartly but the reason was kept under the wraps. At the Scottish school, Prince William and Catherine thanked the school staff for the incredible work they did and are still doing through the challenging time.
In Berwick upon Tweed, the royal couple met with the paramedics and three reindeer – Chaz, Crackers, and six-month-old Echols. From the Daily Mirror’s report,
As a treat for the children, Kensington Palace arranged for Rent a Reindeer to bring three animals to the school. Local saxophone group The Earl Grey Saxes played Christmas tunes, including Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer during the visit. Under rainy skies and in a chilly northerly wind, the school’s 175 pupils waved and sang as the Royal couple arrived. Some wore antlers on their heads and some were in Santa hats for the visit.
Rent a Reindeer owner George Richardson brought Chaz, Crackers and her six-month-old calf Echols for the visit, and told the William and Kate about caring for them and how coronavirus had affected his business. Mr Richardson, who is based in Cold Hesledon, County Durham, said the booking by the palace had been “top secret”.
He said: “We got a phone call out of the blue two weeks ago, they asked us to bring a reindeer for the Royal visit and we were happy to oblige.
A video of the visit.
Now to The Duchess of Cambridge’s Style of the day – Keeping up with her yesterday’s repeat spree, The Duchess of Cambridge brought back her Catherine Walker teal blue high-neck coat that we first saw in 2018 during the Scandinavian tour. The bespoke funnel neck coat was calf-length long and having a fitted silhouette.
Catherine again wore the coat in January 2019 for Sunday Church Service.
Today, The Duchess of Cambridge paired the coat with her Sapphire and Diamond Diana Earrings.
Catherine wore her long suede boots that are believed to be Ralph Lauren Collection Black Suede High Heel Boot.
The Duchess of Cambridge carried Strathberry Multrees Chain Embossed Croc Wallet in Black. Thanks to Palace_Avenue and LadyParky79. for the id.
The Duchess of Cambridge was wearing Cornelia James Emilie Classic Leather Gloves. Thanks to Barbara Malgina on Twitter for the id.
She was wearing an Amaia Kids adult Reusable cotton Blue Emma & Georgina face mask.