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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited Westminster Abbey on Tuesday morning to pay tribute to staff and volunteers at a pop-up vaccination center

By Simon Perry
March 23, 2021 09:04 AM
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Kate Middleton and Prince William returned to their wedding venue on Tuesday for a meaningful reason.

The couple visited a new COVID-19 vaccination center that has been set up at Westminster Abbey, where they wed almost 10 years ago.

At the center, Kate, who wore a cream coat with lace detailing from Catherine Walker & Co., and William paid tribute to staff members and volunteers who are helping with the vaccine rollout.

Their visit comes as Britain marks the one-year anniversary of the beginning of the lockdown. It was observed with a one-minute silence as people remembered the more than 125,000 British deaths due to COVID-19 and paid tribute to the frontline workers who have been battling the pandemic. The royal parents of three took part in the private moment of reflection at the end of their visit.

Prince William and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge arrive for a visit to the vaccination center at Westminster Abbey
Kate Middleton and Prince William at Westminster Abbey
| Credit: Aaron Chown/AP/Shutterstock
Prince William and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge arrive for a visit to the vaccination center at Westminster Abbey
Kate Middleton and Prince William at Westminster Abbey
| Credit: Aaron Chown/AP/Shutterstock

The U.K.'s public National Health Service opened the Westminster Abbey clinic earlier this month to provide up to 2,000 life-saving injections — or "jabs" as the British colloquially call them — each week. It operates from the south transept, home to the world-famous Poets' Corner, while the Abbey continues to remain open for a daily Holy Communion service.

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Prince William and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge arrive for a visit to the vaccination center at Westminster Abbey
Kate Middleton
| Credit: Aaron Chown/AP/Shutterstock
Prince William and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge arrive for a visit to the vaccination center at Westminster Abbey
Credit: Aaron Chown/AP/Shutterstock

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William, 38, and Kate, 39, talked to the staff about their experiences of being involved in the largest vaccination program in the nation's history, and of working out of such an iconic venue. They also met and spoke with a number of people receiving their vaccine that day, their office at Kensington Palace says.

Prince William and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge arrive for a visit to the vaccination center at Westminster Abbey
Kate Middleton and Prince William
| Credit: Aaron Chown/AP/Shutterstock
Prince William and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge arrive for a visit to the vaccination center at Westminster Abbey
Kate Middleton and Prince William
| Credit: Aaron Chown/AP/Shutterstock

It is one of more than 1,600 vaccination sites across the country. Elsewhere, mosques, temples, racecourses, sports stadiums, cinemas and museums have been thrust into action to provide more spaces for the rollout to take place.