Kate Middleton and Prince William visit NHS Centre during coronavirus outbreak

Olivia Blair
Photo credit: Samir Hussein - Getty Images

From Prima

Kate Middleton and Prince William visited an NHS London Ambulance 111 control room in South London, to thank them for their tireless work offering advice to people during the Coronavirus pandemic.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge made the visit privately on Thursday, Kensington Palace revealed today.

Staff at the control room, in Croydon, have been taking NHS 111 calls from the public in recent weeks, which has seen unprecedented demand and pressures since the Covid-19 illness hit the UK.

The Duke and Duchess met with them to thank them for their crucial work and service.

In photos shared to the Palace's Instagram account, the couple are seen both wearing suits - Kate in coral pink from Marks and Spencer and William in navy blue, chatting to staff and observing the control room.

In a speech at the control room, Prince William praised the NHS and thanked them for their hard work and dedication.

"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."


Photo credit: Kensington Palace - PA Images

In the early days of the virus, anyone who had travelled to the primary countries affected by the Covid-19 outbreak and were concerned they were developing symptoms were asked to call the NHS 111 helpline for advice.

However, last week the government updated their advice due to the rapid rise of people worried they could have symptoms after the virus spread across Europe rapidly.

The latest advice is for anyone who has a new, persistent cough and/or fever to isolate themselves for 7-14 days depending on whether they live by themselves or not and not to attend a pharmacy, GP surgery or hospital.

There is an online 111 service where people can answer questions about their symptoms if they are concerned. The NHS advises people only to call the helpline "if you cannot get help online".

Photo credit: Chris Jackson - Getty Images

Also, on Friday, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle shared advice to their followers who are practicing self-isolation and social distancing during Covid-19.

On Friday, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex took to their social media account, @sussexroyal, to offer some words of advice to those who might be struggling to cope at home during the pandemic, sharing a blue image with the words ‘today I feel [blank]’ on a turquoise background.

"Many of us may feel confused," a segment of the post reads. "Or alone, or anxious or scared...and in isolation, some of us may just feel bored, or that you don’t know what to do with yourself without your normal routine. It’s perfectly normal to be feeling any of these things."

The post continues, detailing the difficulties of "adjusting to this new norm" but notes that while "there is isolation and physical distancing, but there doesn’t have to be loneliness".

In the post, the couple urge their followers to check out the likes of Kids Help Pho, Give Us A Shout and the Crisis Text Line which requires new volunteers to help them provide support.

From offering texts, counselling others and asking for support, the royal couple emphasise that ‘you do not need to suffer in silence’.

On Thursday, the Queen shared a statement – after she and Prince Philip headed to Windsor earlier than planned in advance of the Easter break.

"At times such as these, I am reminded that our nation’s history has been forged by people and communities coming together to work as one, concentrating our combined efforts with a focus on the common goal," the statement signed by Elizabeth R said.

The information in this story is accurate as of the publication date. While we are attempting to keep our content as up-to-date as possible, the situation surrounding the coronavirus pandemic continues to develop rapidly, so it's possible that some information and recommendations may have changed since publishing. For any concerns and latest advice, visit the World Health Organisation. If you're in the UK, the National Health Service can also provide useful information and support, while US users can contact the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

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