Articles - August 2020

Royal Engagements in Pandemic Times

From in-person appearances to virtual engagements, the Royal Family has met the COVID challenge head-on and adjusted their routines in continued support of the charities and service organizations that are part and parcel of the royal life.

While the pandemic dashed travel plans and forced many cancellations of royal events, members of the Royal Family have been reaching out to people in the British Isles and all over the world with messages of hope and care.

Perhaps no one is more famous or beloved for their charity work than Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, affectionately known as Kate. With her girl-next-door charm, athleticism and cheery disposition even in the midst of a pandemic (have you ever seen her not laughing or smiling?) she brings to royal protocol a softness that has fans, young and old, clamoring to meet her wherever she goes. Before the lockdown she and Prince William squeezed in official visits to Ireland and Wales, where they celebrated the local culture and visited charitable organizations, many related to children. In Ireland, a stint making soup at the resident facility of Savannah House in County Kildare or engaging with farmers and local children at the Teagasc Research Farm in County Meath, were on par with taking high tea with President Michael D. Higgins and his wife Sabina Coyne at the official presidential residence of Aras an Uachtarain.

Likewise Wales presented more opportunities for local engagement. Many of the charities that Kate champions involve sports and outdoor activities to help children cope with trauma and mental health issues. So when Kate and William visited the steel town of Port Talbot, it was perfectly natural for the royal couple to stop in at the Bulldogs Development Centre, which focuses on therapeutic boxing and fitness.

Even after lockdown Kate and William continued to involve themselves in charitable causes from their country home at Anmer Hall—joining their extended Royal Family in an international video conference with healthcare professionals on International Nurses Day, May 12, and participating via Zoom in a comedic sketch for the BBC’s Covid-19 April fundraiser Big Night In. On air the Prince bemoaned royal home schooling and the suspension of EastEnders. When comedian Stephen Fry suggested he watch the Netflix sensation Tiger King, William dead-panned with royal wit, “I avoid shows about Royalty.”
Along with consoling those in need, Kate’s lockdown activities included one of her favorite pastimes—gardening. She visited Fakenham Garden Centre to assess how small businesses were surviving the pandemic the same day she led a virtual assembly for the Oak Ridge National Academy, an online classroom that complements existing lessons during lockdown. On June 25, she got down and dirty at an East Anglia Children’s Hospice known as The Nook, potting the plants which she had bought at the garden center a week earlier.

It’s clear that even in pandemic times, people everywhere can take solace that the charitable Princess with the green thumb, perfect hair and incredible sense of style has their back. In short, this Royal is looking out for us all.

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