Duchess of Cambridge says it's "sad" that it's taken a pandemic for the public to back the NHS

Naomi Gordon
·3-min read
Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

From Harper's BAZAAR

The Duchess of Cambridge has said it is "sad, almost" that it has taken a global pandemic for the nation to "really back and support" the "amazing work" carried out by the NHS.

Kate's comments feature in BBC One's A Celebration for Commonwealth Day airing this afternoon (Sunday, March 7th), which will see members of the royal family honouring the Commonwealth from Westminster Abbey.

In an extract from the special broadcast, Kate and Prince William chat in a video call with Dr Zolelwa Sifumba, from South Africa, an ardent campaigner for the rights of healthcare workers on the front line.

The duchess tells Dr Sifumba: "Here in the UK there’s been masses of public recognition of the amazing work the front line are doing and it's sad, almost, that it's taken the pandemic for the public to really back and support all those working on the front line."

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Dr Sifumba responds: "We actually know the problems, we see the problems every day, you walk into work there are the problems. The problem is our voices are not heard. We are on the front lines and we are expected to lift humanity.

She continued: "So my advice to everybody is, if you know a healthcare worker – any healthcare worker – you just love on them, love on them, love on them some more. If their child needs looking after offer, you know, if they need a meal, offer."

Photo credit: Comic Relief - Getty Images
Photo credit: Comic Relief - Getty Images

Prince William adds: "We, Catherine and I, have spoken to a lot of healthcare workers in UK and around the world over the last year – we hear your worries and your concerns and thank you for your time chatting to us about it."

In the one-off commemorative special, the royal couple talk with medical, charity and voluntary staff from across the Commonwealth to hear their stories of how they have committed to caring for those within their communities in the wake of Covid-19.

The duke and duchess also listen to what inspired health workers and volunteers to support their communities, the impact of the vital work they continue to carry out, and how they have adjusted their efforts to respond to the pandemic.

Kate and William recently showed their support for mental health hotline Shout 85258, a confidential phone service that provides help and assistance for those who may be struggling with their emotional or mental health.

A Celebration for Commonwealth Day, presented by Anita Rani, will air on BBC One at 5pm, on Sunday, March 7th.

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