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Prince William and Kate Middleton visit King’s Lynn hospital to mark NHS' birthday – best photos

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge paid tribute to healthcare workers

kate william sanitiser
Diane Shipley
Diane ShipleySenior Online Writer
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kate william sanitiser© Photo: PA

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge paid tribute to NHS workers on Sunday as they visited the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn. The visit, which was in honour of the 72nd anniversary of the creation of the NHS, saw the kind-hearted royals enjoy afternoon tea with employees from across the hospital.

Prince William and Kate Middleton spoke to staff and volunteers during their visit, including medical staff, catering and operational staff, some of whom have returned to work from retirement specifically to support the COVID-19 effort.

Their Royal Highnesses made the special visit ahead of the hospital’s 40th anniversary on the 22nd July. The Queen Elizabeth is at the centre of efforts to fight coronavirus, having provided care to 450 COVID-19 patients during the pandemic.

The hospital has also recruited 46 patients to the Covid-19 Recovery Trial, with another 500 enrolled in other coronavirus research studies.

kate william nhs smile© Photo: PA

The Duke and Duchess followed safety precautions carefully throughout their visit, which was their first post-lockdown engagement. 

The royal couple delighted staff at the hospital, who were celebrating 72 years of the NHS.  

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kate nhs smiling© Photo: PA

The Duchess looked stunning in a dark blue and white silk dress from one of her favourite brands, Beulah London. She also swept her hair back in a simple ponytail and wore natural makeup for the special occasion. 

kate sanitiser© Photo: PA

The royal couple, who had participated in the 5 PM clap before the visit, told volunteers: "Everyone appreciates what you do. The NHS is a fantastic organisation."

READ: Kate Middleton wore the most beautiful silk dress for her surprise new appearance

kate william nurses© Photo: PA

Kate and William spoke with medic Suzie Vaughan and her daughters Hettie, 7, and Bella, 9, who last month posted a viral video of reuniting with her children after two months working away from her family. Suzie told the royals: "They both always wanted to meet a real-life princess." Bless!

kate balloons© Photo: PA

The hospital held the party on Sunday ahead of its 40th birthday on July 22nd. Dozens of frontline staff and their families enjoyed afternoon teas, sandwiches, crisps and cakes alongside William and Kate.

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The royal couple were presented with a special gift from staff: three knitted keyrings for their children. How kind! 

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Natalie English, senior sister for critical care, presented the royals with the special keyrings, telling the press: "They are of doctors and nurses in face masks and [William and Kate] said they will take them home to their children."

kate william table© Photo: PA

William asked healthcare workers how they coped with anxiety during the crisis. They described "wobbly-moments," and the Prince responded: "This is a good way of describing it."

william kate laughing© Photo: PA

The party, which the royal couple clearly enjoyed, celebrated birthdays for both the hospital and the foundation of the NHS.

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The hospital is just a short visit from the couple's Norfolk residence, Anmer Hall.

kate rainbows© Photo: PA

The Duchess looked radiant as she learned more about the hardworking staff's efforts to battle COVID-19, surrounded by letters and drawings from grateful local citizens. 

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