Kate Middleton and Prince William Had a Surprise Meeting with Healthcare Workers

Kate Middleton and Prince William stepped out to show their support for emergency healthcare workers as the coronavirus and its effects continue to cause waves around the world.

On Thursday, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited the National Health Service's 111 center, where staffers have been fielding calls about urgent medical problems from across the U.K.

"Catherine and I were proud to visit staff working at NHS 111, to pass on our personal thanks, along with those of my grandmother and father, to staff working around the clock to provide care and advice to those that need it most," Prince William wrote in an Instagram caption about the visit.

Though the royal family has canceled engagements due to the virus, the Cambridges reportedly took proper precautions during the event, opting not to shake hands and using hand sanitizer. Kate wore a tailored pink suit and heeled pumps for the visit, while William opted for a navy suit. 

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Catherine and I were proud to visit staff working at NHS 111, to pass on our personal thanks, along with those of my grandmother and father, to staff working around the clock to provide care and advice to those that need it most. • The last few weeks, and more recent days have been understandably concerning with the continuing spread of coronavirus. • But it’s at times like this when we realise just how much the NHS represents the very best of our country and society – people from all backgrounds and walks of life with different experiences and skills, pulling together for the common good. • Not only are NHS staff and emergency workers responding to the needs of the public, they – like the rest of us – are concerned about their families, friends and loved ones. • They need our support as much as we need theirs. • All of us have a part to play if we’re going to protect the most vulnerable. • That means acting on the latest expert advice, staying home if we or those we live with have symptoms, and avoiding non-essential contact to help reduce the spread of the virus. • — The Duke of Cambridge

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According to People, during the visit, Prince William met Paula White, a call handler who was a former telephonist at Buckingham Palace and had met him when he was a baby.

"Was I behaving myself? A rowdy little child?" he joked.

White told reporters, "I said, 'I can’t say sir – the press are here!' I worked [at the palace] when his mum was getting married."

She also added that Princess Diana enjoyed going into the switchboard room and answering the calls, telling the press at the event, "She used to be taking calls with us. I saw the ring! [William] was just a little baby when she brought him down."

On Thursday, Prince William shared a video message about the coronavirus, telling supporters, "Whenever and wherever adversity strikes, the people of the U.K. have a unique ability to pull together."

Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Friday announced the closure of pubs, restaurants, and gyms in the U.K. over coronavirus concerns, as 953 cases of the virus have been confirmed in London alone. 

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