Prince William shares an emotional phone call with NHS nurse

Lucy Quick
Photo credit: Max Mumby/Indigo - Getty Images
Photo credit: Max Mumby/Indigo - Getty Images

Since the start of 2021, The Duke of Cambridge has personally called more than 300 healthcare workers to thank them for their hard work during the COVID crisis.

Prince William called Jenny Manson, 54, a nurse who formed a bubble with the family of a terminally ill girl so she could help care for the girl and protect them from COVID.

Jenny, a community children’s nurse from Kirkcudbright in Dumfries and Galloway, told the Duke she had cared for nine-year-old Holly Clarke at her home, so her parents Richard and Stevie, twin sister Becca and older sister Emily could spend their last precious months with her before her death in October.

Jenny, who is a single mother to 16-year-old twin daughters, worked at the family’s home from May last year to reduce their risk of catching the virus. Discussing their call, she said, “It was just so lovely, he wanted to talk about that in depth. He was really interested in the family and the how they are now. He wanted to send his best wishes.”

“He said as a father it made him feel quite emotional, the conversation we were having. He talked to me about when he was working as a helicopter pilot and how when he went to a child who had had a trauma or an accident that used to be really sad. He spoke about that a lot and he was just so sincere.”

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Jenny continued, “I told the family (about the call), and they just said ‘look what Holly's done, she's got the Duke of Cambridge talking about her!’ It was a real comfort to them.”

Jenny, who has been a nurse for 34 years, told the Duke she had previously worked at the Acorns Children's Hospice in Birmingham, which he visited in 2018, 30 years after it was opened by his mother Princess Diana.

She concluded, “I'm just a little nurse who works in Scotland but for the Duke to actually want to take time to talk to me it felt I was so privileged. I felt like my job, and, and the role of the NHS was really being acknowledged. He was unbelievably genuine and sincere.”

William also spoke to Shamraze Zeb, 41, a practice manager at Black Country and West Birmingham CCG who has been helping to manage the vaccine rollout across a Primary Care Network of nine GP practices.

Shamraze told the Duke how the team had set up pop-up clinics at local Mosques and Gurdwaras to tackle the problem of vaccine hesitancy in the area.

He said: “We had a conversation about how he was aware of, the vaccine hesitancy, but he was saying that the more factual information we can get out into the media and into different channels that will help the cause and he said that it was fantastic that me and my team are going out and doing these initiatives to increase the uptake.”

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William also surprised Shamraze’s daughters Safah, 13, and Hawwa, 12, by saying hello to them and their mother Attia during the call.

“It was a really proud moment for me really,” said Shamraze, “They were saying, ‘Dad, he said my name!' Me speaking to the Prince, that was the most exciting thing that’s ever going to happen to me I think, but it was really pleasing, you know, all the hard work you do, and then to be recognised by the Duke of Cambridge was a really proud moment.”

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