The Duke of Cambridge carried out his first public engagement of 2021 today, visiting a vaccine centre in King’s Lynn, Norfolk. He also gave a small update on his grandfather.
The Duke is spending lockdown at Anmer Hall on the Sandringham estate with his wife and their three children. Since lockdown was announced in December, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have been working from Sandringham House over phone and video calls.
Prince William kept his first official public engagement local, keeping to government regulations, when he arrived at the King’s Lynn Corn Exchange to learn more about how the vaccinations are being rolled out across the UK.
The King’s Lynn vaccination centre, which comes under Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust, has been in operation since the 1st February and has delivered thousands of vaccinations in the four week period it has been up and running.
It is only the second in-person engagement of the year for the Royal Family, following on from Prince Charles and Camilla visiting a Birmingham hospital last week.
William, who contacted COVID-19 in spring 2020 not long after his father, has been a vocal advocate for getting the vaccine in previous phone and video calls released by Kensington Palace. He once again advocated for the vaccine during today’s visit, saying that he would be at ‘the front of the queue’ for his vaccination, but he will wait until it is his turn.
The Duke of Cambridge began the visit by speaking to those waiting for the vaccine. He spoke to 60-year-old Geoff Smyth, taking a seat near him for the chat. The Royal asked about how he was getting though lockdown, saying it was all ‘a bit odd’.
One of the parts of the visit which particularly caught Prince William’s attention was the drawing up of the vaccine from the bottle into the needle. He spoke about the process with nurse Margot Smith, asking how the process was done and the storage differences between the different vaccines that have been approved for use in the UK.
Ms Smith, a school immuniser, showed William how to draw the vaccine into the vial and then transfer it into a syringe. The dose measures only 0.5 millilitres. Speaking with her about the challenge of vaccinating school children, teachers and workers, the Duke said: “There’s nothing like a challenge. Honestly, you guys have overcome every challenge that’s been thrown at you. Brilliant work.”
Before finishing off his visit, the future King met with Fliss and Stewart Davidson, two volunteers at the centre. The women told the Duke how long they have been volunteering and what it’s like, saying that they ‘love it’ and are ‘really enjoying it’.
Before he left, William had a brief chat with veteran royal photographer Arthur Edwards and gave an update on his grandfather, The Duke of Edinburgh, who his spending his seventh night in hospital after being admitted last week. He said his grandfather was ‘ok’ and that the medical team were ‘keeping an eye on him’, adding a wink.
The Crown Chronicles would like to thank all those who are part of the vaccine roll out across the world.