The Duke of Cambridge honored the birthday of the National Health Service while wife Kate remained in isolation

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Prince William, Duke of Cambridge hosts a NHS Big Tea garden party to commemorate the NHS' 73rd Birthday
Credit: Henry Nicholls - WPA Pool/Getty Images

Prince William hosted a tea party honoring the U.K.'s public health service on Monday — without his planned cohost, wife Kate Middleton.

William attended the event solo after Kate pulled out following the news that she had been in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19.

"Last week, The Duchess of Cambridge came into contact with someone who has subsequently tested positive for COVID-19," a spokesperson for the palace said in a statement on Monday. "Her Royal Highness is not experiencing any symptoms, but is following all relevant government guidelines and is self-isolating at home."

The announcement came just before the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge had been set to attended a special service at St. Paul's Cathedral on Monday morning to mark the birthday of the National Health Service (NHS), which was established 73 years ago. William subsequently attended the event on his own.

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge
Prince William hosting a tea party at Buckingham Palace gardens for NHS workers.
| Credit: HENRY NICHOLLS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Later, he hosted a tea party at Buckingham Palace to pay tribute to health workers. The "Big Tea" is one of many taking place in homes, hospitals and schools and community areas around the country on Monday to give communities an opportunity to relax and reflect and thank health staff and volunteers for the role they have played throughout the pandemic.

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge
Credit: HENRY NICHOLLS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

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The palace party was set up so that William and Kate, both 39, could pay tribute to the work of NHS staff who have "gone above and beyond to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic," their office previously stated.

The Duke Of Cambridge Marks The NHS' 73rd Birthday
Credit: Henry Nicholls - WPA Pool/Getty Images

With Kate in isolation, William moved forward meeting respiratory ward nurses, counselors and care workers, along with staffers in non-clinical roles, including catering managers and housekeeping coordinators.

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William and Kate became Joint Patrons of NHS Charities Together, an umbrella organization made up of 240 NHS member charities based within hospitals, mental health trusts, ambulance trusts, community health trusts and health boards across the U.K., in December 2020.

Earlier in the day, it was announced that Queen Elizabeth had awarded the prestigious George Cross to the NHS, saying in a handwritten note that it was dedicated to all staff past and present for their "courage, compassion and dedication." She added, "You have our enduring thanks and heartfelt appreciation."