Puppies, patients & a pastor – William and Kate head to Lancashire

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge travelled to Lancashire for the day on Thursday, where they met with some furry friends alongside the human ones!

A busy week for William and Catherine continued when they arrived in Clitheroe, a day after their first joint engagement of the year at the Foundling Museum. Their first stop was to Clitheroe Community Hospital in their capacity as joint Patrons of NHS Charities Together.

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During the visit, the couple learned about the challenges faced by staff in the work environment and in the local community, and how NHS Charities Together helped them by providing mental wellbeing support – creating a special room for the staff in the hospital – and also by providing funding for two therapy dogs.

The Duke and Duchess wore face masks inside the hospital, in accordance with guidelines, and spoke with GPs, nurses, other staff and patients about their experiences. The Royals also took the time to thank the staff they met for continuing to do their work to the highest standard despite the pressure they face.

Prince William and Kate hear from staff and patients at Clitheroe Community Hospital (@KensingtonRoyal/Tiwtter)

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At the end of the visit, Prince William and Kate were introduced to the newest member of the hospital team – Alfie the cockapoo! Alfie will join six-year-old Jasper in helping to support staff and patients.

We learnt that the Cambridges, who lost spaniel Lupo last November, now have a female dog. People magazine report she is from a litter of six belonging to the Duchess’ younger brother, James Middleton via Luna, Lupo’s sister.

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The Duchess of Cambridge holds puppy Alfie, a new therapy dog for the hospital (@KensingtonRoyal/Twitter)

However, the puppies were born in May 2021, meaning if they took a puppy very shortly after Lupo’s death, she would have already been six months old; James had also shared that all the puppies had homes to go to when they were born.

The second visit of the day was to Church on the Street. The Burnley organisation is run by Pastor Mick Fleming, a former drug dealer; it provides food, clothing, hot showers, mental health support, care and advice to those who are dealing with homelessness, addiction or mental health issues. All three are areas the couple have focused on in their work.

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The parents-of-three met with the pastor and those who have used the services he has provided, along with volunteers and staff to learn more about the initiative.

Chatting to 11-year-old Deacon at the centre, the Prince said: “It gets easier, I promise you. It does get easier.”

William was referring to the fact that Deacon had lost his mother, and shared a little of his own experience, after Diana’s death in 1997 when he was just 15.

After the serious bit, the couple had fun as they took time to pose for a number of photos with the people they had met, including a family of three in a very cute moment that saw William telling those around him not to encourage his wife.

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As Catherine cooed adoringly at Anastasia Barrie, the Duke joking warned those around them who encouraged the behaviour. “Don’t give my wife any ideas!” he jokingly cautioned the enamoured crowd. “No more!”

“You can’t take her with you,” the Duke said to Catherine, as she handed the baby girl back to her parents.

The duo then headed home to their three children – which seems to be quite enough for William!

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