The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have pledged to visit frontline workers in Canada after learning about how they've been tackling the coronavirus outbreak. In a video call to mark Canada Day on Wednesday 1 July, Prince William and Kate spoke with six staff members from Fraser Health's Surrey Memorial Hospital in British Columbia about the challenges they've faced during the pandemic.
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WATCH: William and Kate pledge to visit frontline workers in Canada
Speaking from their Norfolk home, Anmer Hall, the couple paid tribute to the staff's "fantastic" work and told them they hoped to visit them in person in Canada one day.
William said: "I just wanted to just touch base and say how proud we are of all of you and everyone on the front line who have led the way, very stoically, very bravely and put patient care right at the top of the list, and done a fantastic job. So well done to all of you and I hope Catherine and I can come and visit you guys one day and say that to you in person."
Kate added: "It's an amazing role that you're playing and a hugely tough one as well so we're in huge admiration for everything you're doing."
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William and Kate spoke with frontline workers in Canada
One of the staff members on the call was health care social worker Sunny Dulai, who is six months pregnant. She told William and Kate how dealing with the COVID-19 crisis had affected her health, after not being able to see her family members.
Sunny said: "Initially I was like 'No I can do this,' emotionally, it wasn't really impacting me. Then as I got later in my pregnancy and the more the pandemic started to move along, it really did impact my mental health. I felt like I was angrier because I didn't have the support networks at home that I typically have."
She added: "But I never once felt that I needed to stop working where I work, because of the support I got from my team."
The Duchess told Sunny: "Good luck Sunny going forward with your new baby."
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William and Kate in Canada in 2011
Canada holds many special memories for the couple as it's where they undertook their first major royal tour as newlyweds in July 2011 and even got to celebrate the country's national day during their overseas visit. William and Kate also toured Canada in 2016 – their first public trip as a family of four with their eldest children, Prince George, then three, and a 16-month-old Princess Charlotte.
Last year the Cambridges posted a throwback photo on their Instagram account from their first tour of Canada of William and Kate greeting the crowds on Canada Day. The Duchess paid tribute to the nation's flag by wearing her white Reiss dress, a red maple leaf hat by Sylvia Fletcher for Lock & Co and matching court shoes from Hobbs. The couple captioned the image in English and French, writing: "Happy Canada Day! // Bonne Fête du Canada!"
The Queen has carried out over 20 visits to Canada since her accession to the throne, with her last being in 2010. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex lived on Vancouver Island with their son Archie for a few months before moving to Los Angeles, following their decision to step back from royal life. Former actress Meghan also lived in Toronto when she was filming US legal drama Suits.
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