Kate Middleton and Prince William Are Celebrating 'Burns Night': Here’s Why
Kate Middleton wore a tartan dress for the special occasion
The royal couple sent a message to hospital staff at NHS Tayside thanking them for their work and wishing them well on Burns Night, Scotland's celebration of the poet, Robert Burns.
"Hello to everyone at NHS Tayside," William said. "We know Burns Night is a special evening for Scots around the world – a time to come together to eat, drink and to celebrate the life and work of Robert Burns."
Kate added, "Sadly this year is a little different. And for many of you working on the frontline, tonight will be a very different occasion, as you work tirelessly through this pandemic to protect the most vulnerable in our society."
William told the staffers that they would be treated to a traditional Haggis dinner to thank them for their sacrifices.
Kate, 39, and William, 38, signed off with "Slàinte Mhath," a toast to "good health" in Scottish Gaelic.
Kate dressed appropriately for the occasion in a red tartan dress, as the patterned cloth is closely associated with Scotland.
Burns Night is celebrated on January 25, the anniversary of the composer's 1759 birth. A Burns Supper of traditional Scottish dishes such as haggis, neeps and tatties — usually accompanied by plenty of whiskey — is served before Burns' poems and songs are recited. The night ends with guests joining hands and singing "Auld Lang Syne," according to VisitScotland.com.
Prince Charles, 72, marked the annual celebration on Monday by reciting one of Burns' most well-known pieces "Auld Lang Syne" — a poem many Americans will recognize as the song most associated with New Year festivities.
At the end of the video, shared on social media by Charles' Clarence House office, the royal holds up a cup and toasts in Scottish Gaelic, raising his glass and taking a sip.
Prince Charle described the poem as "words which have become a symbol of fellowship the world over — and never has that sense of connection been more important than now."
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Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall read her favorite Robert Burns poem, "My Heart's in the Highlands," in an Instagram video.
"Please keep going, stay strong, stay safe – and carry the inspiring spirit of Burns Night with you throughout the year!" she wrote alongside an emoji of the Scottish flag.
The official Royal Family Instagram and Twitter accounts also marked Burns Night by sharing the words to "My Heart's in the Highlands," a 1789 song and poem by the poet, alongside snowy photos of Queen Elizabeth's Scottish Highland home, Balmoral Castle, as well as the River Dee "on a recent winter's day."