The Royals just paid a secret visit to an NHS centre working to fight the Coronavirus pandemic

Prince William and Kate Middleton showed their support during this hard time.

William and Kate at NHS 111 centre
(Image credit: Kensington Palace PA images)

Prince William and Kate Middleton showed their support during this hard time.

Although the Royal’s initial reactions to the current Coronavirus pandemic were criticised, they’ve recognised the scale of the situation in Britain in recent weeks, with the Queen releasing an emotional statement calling for the public to 'find new ways of staying in touch with each other and making sure that loved ones are safe' and cancelling all scheduled Royal occasions for the foreseeable.

But William and Kate have been making sure to show their support this week with a heartwarming visit to one of the London NHS centres currently on the frontline helping to tackle the virus.

They took a trip to one of the NHS 111 centres to chat to staff and highlight what a vital role the call centre workers are having in fighting the pandemic. Prince William told staffers they stand for ‘the very best of our country and society’ as he gave thanks on behalf of the entire Royal family.

He also spoke out to ask the general public to do their bit ‘to protect the most vulnerable’. By this, he means making sure to stay at home and ‘social distance’ from others, making sure to delay the spread of the virus from one person to another for as long as possible.

A photo posted by on

Visiting the centre in South London’s Croydon, the Duke said: ‘The last few weeks, and more recent days have been understandably concerning with the continuing spread of coronavirus. But it’s at times like this when we realise just how much the NHS represents the very best of our country and society – people from all backgrounds and walks of life with different experiences and skills, pulling together for the common good.’

‘Not only are NHS staff and emergency workers responding to the needs of the public, they – like the rest of us – are concerned about their families, friends and loved ones. They need our support as much as we need theirs.’

‘That is why Catherine and I were proud to visit staff working at NHS 111, to pass on our personal thanks, along with those of my grandmother and father, to staff working around the clock to provide care and advice to those that need it most. It was also brilliant to see the great online tools for those with mild symptoms or worries.’

‘All of us have a part to play if we're going to protect the most vulnerable. That means acting on the latest expert advice, staying home if we or those we live with have symptoms, and avoiding non-essential contact to help reduce the spread of the virus.’

Kate and Will at NHS 111 centre

Adhering to the most recent governmental advice, William and Kate were both careful to stand at least two metres apart from any staffers they encountered on their visit, further avoiding physically touching or shaking hands, and making sure to use the hand sanitiser available regularly.

Although, a humorous moment did arise when one of the supervisors apparently forgot new regulations and went to shake the Prince’s hand, to which he joked ‘Don’t shake hands!’. They did still have a photo together, just making sure to stand a socially acceptable distance apart.

The number of calls the 111 helpline is receiving has gone from near 7,000 when the crisis began to around 25,000 a day across London alone at current stats. On top of that, 999 has just tackled the busiest period since it opened, with calls rocketing from 4,500 to 8,000 a day.

Not sure which line to call? 999 is for 'serious, potentially life-threatening emergencies' and 111 is for any advice or questions that you can't answer on the NHS website.

Ally Head
Senior Health, Sustainability and Relationships Editor

Ally Head is Marie Claire UK's Senior Health, Sustainability, and Relationships Editor, nine-time marathoner, and Boston Qualifying runner. Day-to-day, she works across site strategy, features, and e-commerce, reporting on the latest health updates, writing the must-read health and wellness content, and rounding up the genuinely sustainable and squat-proof gym leggings worth *adding to basket*. She's won a BSME for her sustainability work, regularly hosts panels and presents for events like the Sustainability Awards, and is a stickler for a strong stat, too, seeing over nine million total impressions on the January 2023 Wellness Issue she oversaw. Follow Ally on Instagram for more or get in touch.