William and Kate thank frontline workers missing out on celebrations

Taz Ali, PA
·3-min read

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have encouraged those struggling on Christmas Day to seek help from a number of charities, as they praised frontline workers who are forgoing festivities “to look after the rest of us”.

William and Kate tweeted pictures of people working through the festive season on Friday, including social care workers looking after the vulnerable and volunteers feeding the needy.

They said: “This Christmas our thoughts are with those of you who are spending today alone, those of you who are mourning the loss of a loved one, and those of you on the frontline who are still mustering the energy to put your own lives on hold to look after the rest of us.”

They listed a number of mental health charities that are open on December 25 for those needing support, including Mind, Samaritans and Calm (Campaign Against Living Miserably), adding: “Wishing a merry Christmas doesn’t feel right this year, so instead we’re wishing for a better 2021.”

As vocal advocates of mental health, the couple have kept busy this year with virtual messages to charities and visiting those who have supported their communities during the Covid-19 crisis.

William and Kate and their children George, Charlotte and Louis joined in clapping for carers at Anmer Hall in Norfolk during lockdown, and delivered fresh pasta to those in need.

The couple toured the UK ahead of the Christmas holidays on the royal train to meet frontline workers, volunteers, care home staff, teachers and young people and hear about their experiences during this challenging year.

They met university students in Cardiff and heard about the mental health challenges they faced during the pandemic, and praised care workers at Cleeve Court Care Home in Twerton, Bath.

They also met with eight-year-old Otto Warner at Bath Spa train station after he completed six months of cancer treatment.

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge meeting with Otto Warner and his family
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge with Otto Warner, 8, (left) and his family (Ben Birchall/PA)

Throughout the pandemic, William and Kate have used virtual chats to champion various causes, with the duchess giving an impassioned speech during an online Royal Foundation forum calling for the early years development of children to be viewed on the same level as “other great social challenges and opportunities of our time”.

Discussing the findings of her study into understanding public attitudes to the early years development of children, she said people with issues like addiction or poor mental health often had a difficult childhood but “positive protective factors” during the early years of a child’s life played a “crucial role” in shaping the future.

Kate also launched her Hold Still photographic exhibition earlier in the year, which included 100 images taken by the public reflecting lockdown and the pandemic.

Meanwhile, William spoke of the “unique challenge” facing emergency responders during the pandemic in his message to The Fire Fighters Charity to open its Spirit of Fire Awards ceremony last month.

The duke, who had also contracted Covid-19 in April but did not make it public at the time, stressed how it was more important than ever for frontline workers to receive mental health support.