FAMILY & PARENTING

Prince William And Kate Middleton Host Virtual Events For Kids Of Britain’s Health Care Workers

by Karen Belz
Karen Belz has written for sites such as Bustle, HelloGiggles, Romper, and So Yummy. She's the mom of a sassy toddler and drinks an alarming amount of Sugar-Free Red Bull in order to keep up with her.

By now, you’re probably well-familiar with Zoom. The popular video conferencing program has become a favorite for companies who’ve gone remote.

As it turns out, Prince William and Kate Middleton are also big fans. They chose Zoom to connect with children of NHS workers in a healthy way.

The NHS, which is short for National Health Service, is the health care system built for UK citizens. It’s government-funded and allows those in the UK to visit doctors and hospitals without a hefty fee. As of right now, plenty of those doctors and nurses are working harder than ever. That means that their children are losing out on time with them.

And based on the nature of their jobs, they’re putting their own health on the line.

That can make things even scarier for a kid. If you have kids at home, you may have been trying hard to explain what’s happening in the world to them. But no explanation will change their parents’ schedules.

Prince William and Kate Middleton felt like it would be a great idea to connect with those kids and chat with them about the situation everyone’s going through. They reached out to Casterton Primary Academy, Place2Be, and the Pendle Education Trust. Many of the kids were ready to celebrate Easter. That’s right — they greeted the royal family with their fuzzy ears on.

While William and Kate kept the conversation light, they wanted to thank both the workers of the NHS and their kids. They also complimented the art made by the kids and made sure to say nothing but good things about the work that the NHS is doing.

Here’s a little history for you. The NHS started up in 1948. The services let people who lived in England and Wales, Northern Ireland, and Scotland have access to doctors and health care providers without having to pay a fee. It’s a public health care system that has worked out quite well.

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#ClapForKeyWorkers

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Its main goal was to make health care something that every resident had access to. “‘Everyone — rich or poor, man, woman or child — can use it or any part of it. There are no charges, except for a few items,” an old pamphlet for the service read. “There are no insurance qualifications. But it is not a ‘charity’. You are all paying for it, mainly as taxpayers, and it will relieve your money worries in time of illness.”

That means that taking care of health issues is not as financially stressful for those in the UK as it can be in the United States. The private health care system in the United States can make it tough for people of lower income to pay off medical bills. And in a situation like we’re in now, with plenty of businesses shuttering to help protect themselves, it’s a bigger issue than ever before.

While William and Kate were doing everything right by hosting the Zoom chat, they’ve been under the microscope for other issues regarding social distancing. International Business Times reports that in March, the two of them weren’t abiding by the rules as closely as they could have. And they received a fair amount of backlash from royal watchers.

It happened when they went to visit an NHS 111 center to thank them for their work. “Catherine and I were proud to visit staff working at NHS 111, to pass on our personal thanks, along with those of my grandmother and father, to staff working around the clock to provide care and advice to those that need it most,” said Prince William.

“That means acting on the latest expert advice, staying home if we or those we live with have symptoms, and avoiding nonessential contact to help reduce the spread of the virus,” he said. However, even as he said these words, he and Kate were not actually staying at home. Their visit to the 111 center and interacting with employees there was considered nonessential by many and distracting to the workers there who would otherwise be focusing on helping those who call in with health issues.

Speeches like the one Prince William gave can easily be given online. However, the good news is that the couple is finally taking the threats seriously. As they should, especially considering that his own father, Prince Charles, came down with the illness.

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Grabbing a @Social_Bite in Aberdeen – in Scotland The Duchess of Cambridge visited the café to speak with employees, volunteers and customers who have experienced homelessness about how early childhood experiences can have a lasting impact. Social Bite runs social enterprise cafés across Scotland and distributes food and hot drinks to people experiencing homelessness. The organisation also employs staff who have experienced homelessness themselves. The Duchess has been taking her UK-wide landmark survey ‘5 Big Questions on the Under 5s’ to Northern Ireland and Scotland, following visits to Birmingham, Cardiff, Woking and London last month. Speaking about the #5BigQuestions survey, The Duchess said: • “I wanted to hear directly from people across the UK and it’s great to have been able to talk to people in Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and across England about their experiences. • I want to thank the 200,000 people who have filled it out because each and every response will help show us what society really thinks about raising the next generation. • I am excited to hear from even more people before it closes on 21st February”. • The #5BigQuestions survey takes just 5 minutes to complete – and aims to spark a national conversation on the early years. Visit the link in our bio to fill out the survey and help bring about positive, lasting change for generations to come. Photos © Kensington Palace

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Curious about why the children of Casterton Primary Academy were still in school during the chat? The school is reportedly still open, but just for the kids of NHS staff. It’s not the best option, but right now it’s one of the only options. Schools are closed all around the world, but medical staff still need to work, and someone has to watch their kids.

Kate and William have also addressed the fact that these stay-at-home orders are extra challenging to those who may be struggling with their mental health. “Self-isolation and social distancing can pose huge challenges to our mental health—in recent weeks the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have been in regular contact with organizations and patronages to understand the issues they are facing during this difficult time,” their Instagram account said.

Kate and William have always made mental health a priority. They’ve been some of the loudest voices in the royal family to speak up on the topic. “It is great to see the mental health sector working together with the NHS to help people keep on top of their mental well-being,” the caption continued.

“By pulling together and taking simple steps each day, we can all be better prepared for the times ahead,” they added. It’s yet another reason to thank the NHS. Obviously, they’ve been hard at work for weeks. But the employees are recognizing all types of health concerns.

It’s unclear as to whether or not Kate Middleton is helping to homeschool her children. As an individual, she’s a wonderful teacher and so great with kids, so it’s not a crazy thought. Kate has always made a point to take on a lot of household responsibilities, so it makes sense that she’d also be involved in their education.

Since Kate has also taken on many of the cooking responsibilities for her family, she’s likely unphased by the shutdown of restaurants and nonessential businesses. She’s a hard worker and never seems to be afraid of a challenge. So it’s good that she’s making a point to reach out to her community online to show her support. Hopefully, Kate and William will inspire everyone to stay home and stay safe.