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Prince William and Kate Middleton return to wedding venue to pay touching tribute

The Cambridges took part in a private moment of reflection

cambridges westminster abbey
Emily Nash
Emily NashRoyal EditorLondon
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Nearly a decade after they wed there, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge returned to Westminster Abbey to pay tribute to staff and volunteers delivering the Covid-19 vaccine at the historic venue.

Prince William and Kate also took part in a private moment of reflection to mark all those who have lost their lives as a result of the pandemic over the past 12 months, where the Duke lit a candle and the Duchess left daffodils. 

Their visit came on the National Day of Reflection – marking the one-year anniversary since the first lockdown in the UK.

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WATCH: William and Kate's return to wedding venue to pay touching tribute

William and Kate heard from staff about their experiences of taking part in the biggest vaccination programme in UK history and spoke to people receiving their jabs in the clinic, which was set up earlier this month.

The Duke told one vaccination team that he and the Duchess had not had their jabs yet.

"I'm a while away yet until I get mine. But you're getting there pretty fast so it won't be long," he said.

He added: "I've had plenty of vaccinations in my time. I get jabbed a lot."

william kate westminster abbey© Photo: PA

The couple returned to Westminster Abbey where they married in 2011

The Westminster centre runs from Poet's Corner in the south transept of the Abbey, providing 2,000 vaccinations a week and is run by Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

The Abbey remains open for a daily Holy Communion service.

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william kate westminster abbey 2© Photo: PA

The Duke and Duchess took part in a private moment of reflection

Doctors, nurses and countless other staff, supported by volunteers and others, are delivering the vaccination programme at more than 1,600 sites across the country ranging from cathedrals, mosques and temples to racecourses, sports stadiums, cinemas and museums.

William and Kate will celebrate their tenth wedding anniversary next month on 29 April.

Meanwhile, the Queen sent flowers to the hospital where the Duke of Edinburgh underwent heart surgery earlier this month. 

MORE: Kate Middleton's subtle act of kindness almost went unnoticed – watch video

queen flowers© Photo: Getty Images

The Queen sent flowers to staff at St Bartholomew's Hospital

A bouquet of irises, tulips, mixed narcissi and ranunculus and the message were carried to St Bartholomew's Hospital in the City of London from Windsor Castle, where the monarch and Philip have been staying during the pandemic.

The monarch's message read: "As we look forward to a brighter future together, today we pause to reflect on the grief and loss that continues to be felt by so many people and families, and pay tribute to the immeasurable service of those who have supported us all over the last year."

Prince Philip was discharged from hospital last week and reunited with the Queen at Windsor Castle after a four-week stay in hospital. 

Prince Charles' video message for Marie Curie

The Prince of Wales also recorded a video message in support of Marie Curie's The National Day of reflection. 

Charles, who is a patron of the charity, said: "We have all been inspired by the resourcefulness we have witnessed, humbled by the dedication shown by so many, and moved, beyond words, by the sacrifices we have seen.

"Whatever our faith or philosophy may be, let us take a moment together to remember those who have been lost, to give thanks for their lives, and to acknowledge the inexpressible pain of parting.

"In their memory, let us resolve to work for a future inspired by our highest values, that have been displayed so clearly by the people of this country through this most challenging of times."

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