The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have praised NHS staff and other essential workers for doing an “amazing job” as they met some of their children during a virtual school visit.
William and Kate carried out their first royal tour via video call, chatting to pupils and teachers from a Burnley primary school to learn how they are coping during the coronavirus outbreak.
With Easter days away, some of the children wore bunny ears for the visit, the duchess was given a virtual posey and William was left stumped by an inquisitive youngster’s question.
The couple “visited” Casterton Primary Academy, close to Burnley General Hospital, which has remained open to teach children of key workers and other vulnerable youngsters.
“To you and everyone who is in during this time, it must be such a relief for all the parents who are key workers to know that their children have the normality and structure and they’ve got a safe place for them to be,” Kate told the children and teachers.
“So really, really well done and for all of you, I know it’s not easy circumstances, but it’s fantastic.”
A teacher replied: “Thank you so much. I think everyone is just pleased to be able to help.”
William added: “Good northern volunteering spirit going on up there, very good of you!”
There was a lighter moment when one of the children asked the future king: “The first William was William the Conqueror. What do you want to be called?”
The duke laughed before bashfully swerving the question, saying: “I don’t think I can answer that.”
Teachers across the UK are dedicating their time to keeping schools open for the children of key workers and vulnerable children.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge called teachers and school staff at Casterton Primary Academy to thank them for their hard work and dedication. pic.twitter.com/2h9N66O4EP
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) April 8, 2020
When the youngsters showed off their self-made bunny ears, William laughed, saying: “I like your bunny ears, they look like the real deal – that’s a strong look!”
The couple spent an hour speaking to children – who held up pictures of their parents – including 10-year-old Harris, whose mother is still working as an NHS administrator for health visitors, and Lloyd, nine, whose mother is employed at a special needs school.
“This is a picture of my mum and she works for the NHS as an admin for the health visitors and I’m really proud of her,” Harris said.
Impressed with the artwork, the duke, 37, replied: “Well done you! Can you hold it up a bit to your left so we can see it – that’s it, brilliant! Look at that, that’s a great picture, well done.”
During the virtual visit, 18 children were rotated in front of the camera in groups due to social distancing.