His Royal Highess The Duke of Edinburgh passed away peacefully at Windsor Castle earlier this morning at the age of 99. The Duke was due to celebrate his 100th birthday in June. The Queen made the announcement of the death of her beloved husband at noon today. The statement said that The Royal Family will join with people around the world in mourning his loss.
The Queen’s husband was admitted to King Edward’s VII Hospital in mid-February in what was described as a precautionary admission. Two week later, the Duke was transferred to St Bartholomew’s Hospital where he underwent treatment for a pre-existing heart condition. Another two weeks later, he was released and returned home to Windsor Castle by car.
The Duke retired from public engagements in 2017 and was only seen for family occassions such as weddings for the past few years. He has been married to Her Majesty for 73 years and worked tirelessly for charities and for the UK and the Commonwealth for seven decades.
The prime minister, Boris Johnson, world leaders and other heads of states have made tributes to the Duke following the news of his death.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited the vaccination centre at Westminster Abbey in Central London today, to pay tribute to the efforts of those involved in the Covid-19 vaccine rollout. The couple also met with people who are receiving their Covid-19 vaccination today.
Today is National Day of Reflection in the UK, a year after the start of the first coronavirus lockdown. The Queen marked the day by sending flowers and a message to the staff at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital, where Prince Philip underwent heart surgery earlier this month.
”As we look forward to a brighter future together, today we pause to reflect on the grief and loss that continues to be felt by so many people and families, and pay tribute to the immeasurable service of those who have supported us all over the last year.” Elizabeth R.
During their visit to Westminster Abbey today, the Duke and Duchess also took part in a private moment of reflection. The Duke lit a candle and the Duchess left daffodils. The couple joined in remembering those who have lost their lives during the pandemic over the last 12 months during a minute of silence at the Shrine of St Edward the Confessor.
The Duke and Duchess were received by Dean of Westminster The Very Reverend Dr David Hoyle (R) and Paul Baumann, Receiver General and Chapter Clerk (L) during their visit.
Earlier this month, the NHS has opened a vaccination facility at Westminster Abbey. Kensington Palace said: “In early March, the NHS opened the Westminster Abbey clinic to provide up to two thousand life-saving jabs each week to local Westminster residents. Run by Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, the vaccination centre operates from the south transept, home to the world-famous Poets’ Corner. The Abbey continues to remain open for a daily Holy Communion service. Doctors, nurses and countless other staff, supported by volunteers and others, are delivering the vaccination programme at more than 1,600 sites across the country ranging from cathedrals, mosques and temples to racecourses, sports stadiums, cinemas and museums.” It must be quite the experience to receive a Covid vaccine in such a beautiful building as Westminster Abbey.
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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited Newham Ambulance Station in London this morning. The couple spoke to ambulance staff and paramedics about their experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic. The past year has been very challenging for the London Ambulance Service. The London Ambulance Service has received funding from NHS Charities, of which the Duke and Duchess are Joint Patrons since December 2020.
The Duke and Duchess chatted to staff about mental health and wellbeing support provided to them at the Station. This support includes drop-in sessions and wellbeing spaces, alongisde ome of the wider initiatives provided by the London Ambulance Service including their fleet of Wellbeing Tea Trucks. The Duke and Duchess have been working for the mental health and wellbeing of first responders for years. During the pandemic, they have spoken to many health care workers to talk to them on how they are coping during this incredibly difficult time. The funding of NHS Charities has enabled the London Ambulance Service to continue the Wellbeing Tea Trucks. These trucks provide hot drinks and snacks, and give employees and volunteers the chance to have a break.
At one point, the couple ended up chatting to the dad of one of the paramedics in Bangladesh via FaceTime. Paramedic Jahrin Khan asked if it was okay to call her dad Abu and the royal couple was happy to chat to him. Because of lockdown, Ms Khan hasn’t been able to see her father in real life for some time. Ms Khan has been isolating from her family in order to reduce the risk of her passing on COVID-19 to them.
The Duchess is wearing her Massimo Dutti coat (debuted in January 2020) and she is carrying her Métier ‘Roma’ Tan Small Suede Shoulder Bag (debuted in December 2020). She is also wearing her Kiki McDonough citrine drops, which she owns for more than a decade already. Her mask is by Amaia Kids (debuted in October 2020). The Duchess wore new suede camel shoes.
Pippa Matthews (née Middleton) gave birth to a baby girl yesterday at 4:22 AM! According to sources several reporters talked to, both mother and daughter are doing well. Pippa and James decided to name their daughter Grace Elizabeth Jane. She is named after her paternal grandmother Jane Matthews and her maternal grandmother and aunt, who both have ‘Elizabeth’ as their second name. The baby weighs 6lb and 7oz (2920 grams). It’s unknown where the birth took place, but it possible was at the Lindo Wing of St. Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, London, like with the birth of her son Arthur in 2018. Also unknown at this point is whether Pippa and her daughter are already at home or still in the hospital.
The lovely news makes the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge uncle and aunt for the third time. Grace is the third cousin for Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis. The Cambridges can make themselves up for becoming uncle, aunt and cousins once again in about 3 months from now, as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are expecting their second child together. Grace is the fifth grandchild and second granddaughter to Michael and Carole Middleton.
The couple married on 22 May 2017 at St. Mark’s Church in Englefield, Berkshire. Prince George and Princess Charlotte were respectively acting as pageboy and bridesmaid. The Duchess of Cambridge was the unofficial Maid of Honor, returning the favor after Pippa was the Maid of Honor at the Royal Wedding in 2011. The couple became parents to son Arthur Michael William in October 2018.
I am planning to resume coverage of the engagements carried out by the Cambridges in the coming weeks. Zoom calls will be covered in weekly or two-weekly review posts.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge carried out their first joint in-person engagement of 2021 today with a visit to School21 in Stratford.The couple were there to mark children’s return to classes earlier this week after UK’s third lockdown. The visit also marks the rollout to secondary schools of ‘Mentally Healthy Schools’, a mental health project for pupils which the Duchess launched in primary schools in 2018. The programme is a legacy of the succesful Heads Together campaign.
During their visit, the couple had discussions with teachers and mental health professionals. Mentally Healthy Schools is a free website for UK primary and secondary schools and further education settings, offering school staff information, advice and practical resources to better understand and promote pupils’ mental health and wellbeing. It’s a joint effort between three of the UK’s leading child mental health and education charities. The quality of the resources is checked by the Duchess’ patronage Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families. The Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge is one of the founding partners, together with Place2be, of which the Duchess is also royal patron. You can read more about Mentally Healthy schools on their website.
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