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The Queen takes part in first video call with Princess Anne

The royals are marking Carers Week

queen anne© Photo: PA
Emily Nash
Emily Nash - London
Royal EditorLondon
June 11, 2020
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The Queen has taken part in her first video conference call, joining her daughter Princess Anne to speak to carers. Her Majesty joined a call to the Carers Trust, for 20 minutes to hear about the challenges they are facing during the Coronavirus outbreak.

READ: The only time the Queen has missed Trooping the Colour

WATCH: The Queen takes part in her first ever video call from Windsor

Alexandra Atkins, 24, who cares for her parents, Helen and Keith in Swansea, said: "It was amazing enough to know I would be on a call with the Princess Royal as she has been outstanding representative for us, but to find out the day before that The Queen would be there as well made me wonder if I had gone to another planet. We were actually going to be part of history. I couldn’t believe it. 

"She [the Queen} actually took it in her stride as well. What was really nice was that while you could tell she had never done that kind of call for work before, she really took it in her stride.

"She was listening to what we were saying and paraphrasing it back to us. It felt lovely to be so appreciated. She called us all extraordinary, which meant a great deal. It seemed as if she really understood and empathised.

"We had the private secretary sorting out the room and trying to allocate the camera in the right place. We were told it was the Oak Room. I was in awe already at that point, without her even sitting there. And then to have them both talking face to face to us, was just unreal.

"It hit me that I was sitting in my bedroom talking to the Princess Royal and the Queen. This just doesn’t happen to people like me. It was outstanding. I do I hope I meet them properly one day as I would like to thank them in person for what they did - and trying something different."

MORE: Prince Philip's incredible wedding gift to the Queen revealed

queen video call© Buckingham Palace

The Queen took part in her first video call

Nadia Taylor, 44, a carer from London and chair of the Carers’ Network, said: "To have Her Majesty come on this call gives us so much extra validation, extra recognition to our role as unpaid careers. The problem for us is that we are invisible. All our work is done at home, out of sight and you are very isolated. It can be very difficult to find understanding employers."

Nadia, who is a carer for her parents, father, husband and daughter, said of the call: "There was a picture of the outside of Windsor Castle for a few seconds on the screen and then she came in. She was sitting in a very elegant room. She is quite formal in the way she speaks but I have to say I was personally struck about how warm she was.

"You always imagine they would be quite aloof and removed from your own situation, but it didn’t feel like that. I felt a great sincerity coming from her, as well as the Princess Royal. I think she was trying to send a message that 'I’m still here, I haven’t forgotten the nation and those most in need.'

"There was also a lot of warmth from the Princess Royal but then she has been championing us for 30 years. There was definitely a sense of sincere interest and for me it was something I shall never forget."

At the end of the call, the 94-year-old monarch, who was wearing a floral dress, told the group: "Interesting listening to all your tales and stories, I'm very impressed by what you have achieved already. I'm very glad to have been able to join you today."

Princess Anne is President of the Carers Trust, which started out as the Princess Royal Trust for Carers in 1991. It provides support, services and recognition for anyone living with the challenges of caring, unpaid, for a family member or friend who is ill, frail, disabled or has mental health or addiction problems. There are an estimated seven million carers supporting a loved one who is older, disabled or seriously ill across the UK. 

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