Patients at the Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital had a very special visitor to their wards on Wednesday when Prince William stopped by. The dad-of-two spent time talking to a number of people during his tour of the facilities, including seven-year-old Anna Kape, who had broken her arm at school. Despite her injury, Anna managed a big gap-toothed grin as she chatted to William, later revealing: "He asked me if the tooth fairy would be coming."
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Prince William stopped to chat to seven-year-old Anna about the tooth fairy
Anna wasn't the only one charmed by the Prince. As he walked into the hospital, William was greeted by a gathering of nurses and other staff, who had delayed their lunch break especially to meet him. "I hope the wards aren't empty," he joked as he was introduced to the group.
Indeed, William proved such a hit that he later apologised for causing a disruption. "I'm sorry I brought the hospital to a standstill, that wasn't my intention!" he told patients during his walkabout. "I hope you're not waiting for anything important."
The royal proved to be a very popular visitor to the hospital
William's visit was to promote the work of the Step Into Health programme, which helps military personnel and veterans transition into the many career opportunities in the NHS. The initiative is sponsored by The Royal Foundation, which William established along with his wife, the Duchess of Cambridge, and brother Prince Harry.
Inside the hospital, William heard from serving and former military men and woman about their journey with Step Into Health. Emma Proctor told the royal that she is moving into nursing after 16 years of military service. "He was really encouraging and inspiring," she said of William.
William was there to support the Step Into Health programme
Former army captain Palmer Winstanley, who left the army after suffering from PTSD, praised both William and Harry for instigating programmes such as this one. "It's fantastic what they're doing in raising awareness," he said. "All the stuff that Harry has done recently in talking about his mother shows it is not just PTSD. There are other significant events in people's lives too."