Royals Prince William Surprises Hospital Staff with a Visit — and Is Welcomed with Royal-Themed Cupcakes “It’s not every day the future king drops in!” Ipswich Hospital in England said By Simon Perry Published on February 13, 2023 09:38 AM Share Tweet Pin Email Prince William at Ipswich hospital. Photo: East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust Twitter Prince William is thanking medical staff. The Prince of Wales, 40, made a surprise visit to a hospital on Friday to pass on his gratitude and talk to first responders and other staff. Pictures emerged of the royal chatting with ambulance staff and workers at Ipswich Hospital and Ipswich Ambulance Station, joining them for selfies as they marked the visit. Prince William, who was an air ambulance pilot, frequently supports and heralds the work of emergency services. The news was made public by East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Trust, which runs the hospital that lies about 70 miles from Prince William and wife Kate Middleton's country home Anmer Hall in Norfolk. Ipswich is about 80 miles northeast of London. Kate Middleton and Prince William Make First Official Visit to Cornwall Since Taking on New Titles East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust Twitter After sharing some pictures from the visit, the trust said, "It's not every day the future king drops in! Thanks to Prince William for visiting NHS staff at #IpswichHospital today. The prince thanked staff and found out more about our local NHS." The East of England Ambulance Service also shared photos from Prince William's visit, including a smiling shot of the royal holding a cupcake adorned with the Union Jack flag. "Last Friday, we had the honour of welcoming @KensingtonRoyal at our Ipswich Ambulance Station. He took the time to meet and thank our staff for their hard work and dedication!" the organization said in a tweet. They added, "A big thank you to @kerryjgaskin for the incredible cakes, we heard they went down a treat!" The outing was a private one, so Prince William's office at Kensington Palace had no comment. Highlighting the work of health staff has been a key part of William's work. The surprise hospital visit comes a month after Prince William and Kate spent some time in Liverpool at the city's Royal University hospital. It has been a difficult winter for the public health service with strikes by nurses and ambulance staff adding to the strain on services. The welfare of emergency services crews is vitally important to the prince. William and Kate worked throughout the coronavirus pandemic to support those who work in first responder teams. Their Royal Foundation set up Our Frontline and supported leading charities highlighting mental health and frontline support as part of a bespoke COVID relief fund. 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! Prince William and Kate Middleton. BRUCE ADAMS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images Prince William and Princess Kate, 41, are likely lessening their royal duties this week as they spend time with their children — Prince George, 9, Princess Charlotte, 7, and Prince Louis, 4 — during the kids' half-term break from Lambrook School.