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Kate Middleton and Prince William pay tribute to Prince Philip for arrival at drive-in cinema date

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge held a very special screening

prince william kate drive in© Photo: Getty Images
Emily Nash
Emily Nash - London
Royal EditorLondon
May 26, 2021
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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge spoke with Cruella stars Emma Thompson and Emma Stone ahead of a special cinema event on Wednesday evening. 

The couple, who are joint Patrons of NHS Charities Together, hosted NHS staff for the special drive-in screening of Disney's Cruella, in recognition of healthcare workers' vital work throughout the pandemic.

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The royal couple paid tribute to the late Duke of Edinburgh as they arrived at the cinema in one of his beloved Land Rovers.

William and Kate joined guests at the unique event at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in a 1966 24 model that belonged to Prince Philip and which the Queen had loaned them for the occasion.

WATCH: William and Kate speak with Emma Thompson and Emma Stone

Cruella, which opens in cinemas across the UK on Friday, tells the backstory of Cruella de Vil villain from classic animated movie 101 Dalmatians.

On Monday evening, Kate and William spoke via videocall to its stars Emma Stone, who plays Cruella, and Emma Thompson, who plays her rival Baroness Von Hellman.

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Footage from the call appeared ahead of the couple’s arrival and saw the royal couple joking about the Duke’s popularity with an elderly lady he met at a care home on Sunday.

drive in cinema nhs© Photo: Getty Images

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attended a special drive-in screening of Cruella 

William said: "I got propositioned by 96-year-old lady called Betty yesterday who wanted to kiss me. She's in a care home with her daughter and I said, 'Betty, if I do that, I'm going to get slapped on the back of the head for being inappropriate… social distancing!"

"This is what happens when I’m not around!" laughed Kate.

The two Oscar-winning stars also talked about making the film in London, with Emma Stone telling the Duke and Duchess: "Oh it was so much fun, we were all over, we were all over London we were in front of Liberty. They transformed Carnaby Street into '70s London, which was amazing.

"And then we were in front of Buckingham Palace at one point, I was riding a motorcycle around the Mall." 

William joked: "We should have you had you stopped Emma, it’s very dangerous."

royal video call cruella stars

Emma Stone and Emma Thompson chatted to the royal couple 

"I know, I know," she replied. "I really got away with it, on my motorcycle… a car trailing me around Buckingham Palace."

"In a crazy outfit," laughed Kate. "In a crazy outfit," replied Emma. "Makeup just smeared down my face, black and white hair, it was insane." 

Emma Thompson also told the Duchess: "Wait, wait till you see the clothes. Unbelievable, you're going to want all of Emily's [Emily Beecham, who plays Cruella’s mother] clothes, they're so amazing, obviously you won't be able to wear them in public!"

And, calling the royal couple "darlings", she said of their plan to host health workers: "You're doing a screening for the NHS, aren't you? I mean the NHS. Oh my goodness. What an extraordinary testament really to the creation of the NHS, I mean we're so lucky to have that."

After parking up alongside NHS workers in the forecourt of the Palace, the couple met some of the guests being recognised for their incredible efforts during the health crisis.

prince william kate middleton walking© Photo: Getty Images

The event was held in honour of NHS staff 

Those attending came from across the NHS workforce in Scotland, having been nominated by NHS Charities Together’s member charities and their associated health boards.

NHS Charities Together is the national charity partner of the NHS and is made up of 240 NHS charity members based in hospitals, mental health, ambulance, community health services and health boards across the UK.

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Chief Executive of NHS Charities Together, Ellie Orton, said: "This special screening of Disney’s Cruella is such a wonderful gesture by our Royal Patrons The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. It will be a huge boost and thank you to those staff who have done everything they can to keep us safe and well over the last year.

"We’re delighted to be part of this once-in-a-lifetime memory for some of the amazing NHS staff in Scotland - it is because of their efforts that we are even in a position to enjoy events like this one."

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