Royals Kate Middleton and Prince William Arrive in Scotland for First Stop of British Tour on Royal Train Prince William and Kate Middleton will thank people who have worked so hard for their communities during the nine months of the coronavirus pandemic By Simon Perry Published on December 7, 2020 06:25 AM Share Tweet Pin Email Kate Middleton and Prince William are on tour! The couple arrived in Edinburgh, Scotland, early on Monday morning for the first stop of their 1,250-mile journey around Britain. After a first night — in separate beds — on the Royal Train, William and Kate disembarked to the sounds of bagpipes to begin the process of thanking people who have worked so hard for their communities during the nine months of the coronavirus pandemic. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge headed to Newbridge ambulance response station to talk with first responders about the strains of working through the pandemic and how they and their colleagues coped with the ongoing mental health challenges that came with the crisis. PA It will be a recurring theme throughout the tour on Monday and Tuesday as William and Kate, both 38, head across Scotland, England and Wales. As they go, they are helping to highlight the work done by NHS Charities Together as it was announced that the couple has become joint patrons of the organization. The Scottish Ambulance Service received some funding from it during the crisis and has spent it on indoor and outdoor wellbeing spaces for staff and wellbeing packs with information booklets and reusable water bottles. Prince William and Kate Middleton step off the Royal Train in Edinburgh. PA The 240 NHS charities in the U.K. provide extra funding and services to those that are usually backed by NHS core funds, thereby helping hospitals, community and mental health services and ambulances services. The chair of NHS Charities Together Ian Lush said, "The involvement of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will inspire the public even more to support the amazing NHS staff and volunteers who have done so much to keep us safe and well this year. We can't wait to start working with the Duke and Duchess, the potential is so exciting." Prince William and Kate Middleton. PA Each stop is being kept secret until they arrive as they don't want to attract crowds amid the guidelines for social distancing and other COVID-19 restrictions. But there was a clear hint about the first destination from Princess Kate when they left London's Euston station — as she wore a tartan scarf over her Alexander McQueen coat. Over the next two days, Kate and William will also help spread some Christmas cheer and help celebrate with communities as they prepare for the holidays. Kate Middleton. PA Can't get enough of PEOPLE's Royals coverage? Sign up for our free Royals newsletter to get the latest updates on Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle and more! In addition to the NHS charity, they are also helping to highlight the arts, heritage and live performance sector, and the backing it has received during the pandemic by the U.K. Government’s Culture Recovery Fund Kate Middleton and Prince William meet ambulance staff. PA It was the first time the couple has traveled to an engagement on the Royal Train, although William has ridden on it before. And the transport, which is mainly used a few times a year by Queen Elizabeth or Prince Charles, may sound grand, but it is actually quite humbly furnished. In the nine-carriage train, there are single beds and a 12-setting Formica-topped table that fills the dining car. PA Before they left Euston station in London on Sunday evening, the couple left a fun reminder of their brief visit — writing a thank you note on the transport authority message board. "Thank you to transport workers everywhere for keeping the country moving throughout this difficult year. Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas!" Kate wrote. They signed it William and Catherine. Before they headed out, a spokesperson for the couple said in a statement, “The Duke and Duchess are very much looking forward to shining a spotlight on the incredible work that has been done across the country throughout this difficult year and to sharing their gratitude on behalf of the nation for all those supporting their local communities ahead of the Christmas holidays.” Capturing the mood of the journey is a 10-year-old artist Joe Whale, whose doodle art the couple chose to promote the train ride.