Hitting the pavement! Prince William and Duchess Kate kicked off a three-day tour of the United Kingdom to pay tribute to the essential workers who are going above and beyond amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, both 38, began their journey on the royal train as the second lockdown was lifted in the U.K. earlier this month. According to a press release issued by Kensington Palace, the pair will “travel 1,250 miles and undertake working visits, meeting frontline workers, volunteers, care home staff, teachers, schoolchildren and young people to hear about their experiences, sacrifices and the inspiring work they have done throughout this challenging year.”
On Monday, December 7, the royal couple made their first stop in Edinburgh, Scotland. Kate dressed for the cooler weather in a turquoise Catherine Walker jacket and tall black boots, while William opted for a navy peacoat and plaid scarf. They each wore protective face masks in order to abide by recommended health and safety guidelines amid the COVID-19 crisis.
“The Duke and Duchess met paramedics and staff of the Scottish Ambulance Service – as representatives of the NHS – to thank them for their incredible efforts throughout the pandemic, and to acknowledge the toll that the pandemic has taken on the physical and mental wellbeing of emergency responders,” a post shared on the official Kensington Royal Instagram account read on Monday, announcing that the duo were made joint patrons of NHS Charities Together, an organization supporting healthcare workers and funding advocacy campaigns.
“The 240 UK NHS charities provide extra funding and additional services above and beyond NHS core funds, supporting hospitals, community and mental health services and ambulances services,” the Instagram post continued.
As William and Kate continued their travels on Monday, they paid a visit to a school in Berwick-upon-Tweed, a town that neighbors the Scottish border in northern England. While there, the couple spread holiday cheer with local students and were introduced to three reindeer.
During their charitable tour, the pair hoped to share their gratitude for those who have tirelessly worked to keep their communities safe in a year of uncertainty and challenges. When they return home to their three children — Prince George, 7, Princess Charlotte, 5, and Prince Louis, 2 — the holiday season will be in full swing in the palace. In November, an insider told Us Weekly exclusively that the royal kids “can’t wait for Christmas.”
“It’s their favorite time of the year,” the source said at the time. “In fact, they’ve already written their list for Santa and are nagging William and Kate to put up the Christmas tree.”
Scroll down to see more from William and Kate’s royal train tour!