Prince William Steps Out for First Royal Public Outing amid Coronavirus to Thank First Responders

The Duke of Cambridge follows his father Prince Charles in getting back to face-to-face royal visits, and heads out to a local ambulance station to thank first responders

Prince William stepped out in Norfolk on Tuesday to praise first responders who have been working in the face of the coronavirus pandemic across the U.K.

In his first public appearance since the crisis gripped the U.K. in mid-March, William, 37, headed out to see some of the ambulance workers who have been helping people during the last few difficult months.

He visited a base at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn, not far from the Sandringham estate, and his home Anmer Hall. He wanted to thank them "for their work and dedication responding to the COVID-19 outbreak, and to hear more about their experiences over the past few months," his office at Kensington Palace said.

He was told about the how the East of England Ambulance Service Trust has continued providing services across a region where 6.2 million people live throughout the pandemic. The crew also spoke to William about the support that they've had from members of the public, local businesses and volunteering networks.

The Duke of Cambridge
PA Images

The former air ambulance pilot recognizes that those working on the frontlines also need support. He has spent much of the coronavirus crisis highlighting the mental health support that is available to them during these stressful times. He has also backed a special Our Frontline aid service for key workers.

William and Kate Middleton and their three children have been staying in Norfolk during the lockdown in the U.K.

The royal dad's outing came as the U.K. government started lifting some restrictions, and the royal family has felt able to step out publicly.

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Earlier on Tuesday, William's father Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, were the first senior royals to head out to thank people who have been working on the frontlines during the crisis. The couple spent Tuesday morning in Gloucestershire, where they met essential workers who have been working on the frontlines during the coronavirus pandemic.

The royals were on hand at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital to express their thanks for keeping the healthcare and its emergency services going throughout the crisis.

They spent around 30 minutes meeting around 20 healthcare workers in the hospital grounds. Strict social distancing was in place following the U.K. government guidelines. Staff stood around 6ft apart in lines on a grassy bank so they could chat to the royal couple.

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