Royals on duty: UK and Danish royals head back to work after lockdown

Sarah Carty
Features & Style Editor

It’s been a long few months for royal fans without any in-person public outings by any members of the royal family.

However, it seems like that’s all about to change, as yesterday both the UK and Danish royals were seen out on official engagements.

The Duke of Cambridge talking to paramedics from the East of England Ambulance Service Trust. Photo: Getty Images
Princess Mary and Prince Frederik at the exhibition opening of "The Faces of the Queen" celebrating Queen Margrethe II of Denmark. Photo: Getty Images

Prince William visited the Kings Lynn Ambulance Station at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Norfolk to thank workers who have been on the frontline during the coronavirus pandemic, while Princess Mary and Prince Frederik were at the exhibition opening of "The Faces of the Queen" celebrating Queen Margrethe II’s 80th birthday.

The Tasmania-born princess looked stunning in a short-sleeved white dress, cinched in at the waist with a matching belt as she browsed photos and paintings from 1940 - 2020 of the Queen.

It’s the second time the 48-year-old has been seen out on an official visit since the easing of lockdown restrictions.

Last week, she visited Holmegaard Værk, a new design museum, in Denmark and while she made sure to practice social distancing, she did forgo a face mask for the visit. 

Back in March, the Danish royal family decided to cancel all official appearances, with Princess Mary and her family returning home from Switzerland to “stand with the Danes”. 

In a statement released by the palace, it was revealed that Princess Mary, her four children and her husband, Prince Frederik, would all return from Switzerland, where they’ve been enjoying a 12-week school stay. 

Princess Mary looked stunning in a white short-sleeved dress. Photo: Getty Images

Prince William meanwhile joked about returning to the pub and a widening waistline as he carried out his first in-person engagement in weeks yesterday.

William, 37, visited the Kings Lynn Ambulance Station at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Norfolk to thank East of England Ambulance Service Trust (EEAST) workers who have been on the frontline during the coronavirus pandemic.

During the visit, he joked with staff about being worried “about the waistline of the country” owing to the “chocolate and cakes” which have been eaten during lockdown, saying “we’re all going to have dentist appointments for fillings and all sorts”.

He revealed he had been baking at home, saying “chocolate goes down well at any time” and told staff he is looking forward to the government message to support his local pub.

William and Kate, 38, have been in lockdown in Norfolk at their home in Anmer Hall since the beginning of restrictions on travel in the UK.

The duke joking with staff during a visit in Norfolk. Photo: Getty Images

He also spoke to staff about the impact of COVID-19 on their mental health, and asked about how they had felt about the weekly Clap for Carers.

One staff member told him it was “overwhelming” to have the applause each week.

He said: “Everyone appreciates the NHS and we have a great system over here, many countries envy it.

“It’s not until we have a big crisis that everyone goes ‘OK, we need to make sure we really value and we show our appreciation’.”

He also joked that he was looking forward to the government messages encouraging Britons to go to the pub.

“I’m looking forward to getting that government message that we all have to drink more. Go support your local pub,” he joked.

The duke used a thermometer in his ear when he arrived at the ambulance station. He was not wearing a mask during the engagement but did follow social distancing rules.

The Prince of Wales remains socially distanced as he a performs a namaste to Professor Mark Pietroni during a hospital visit. Photo: Getty Images

Earlier on Tuesday, William’s father Prince Charles made a socially distanced visit to a hospital in Gloucestershire, where he and his wife Camilla have returned after nearly three months in Scotland.

On Saturday, the Queen marked her official birthday at Windsor Castle with a small, socially distanced military ceremony, a reduced version of the usual Trooping the Colour spectacular.

On Thursday, Charles and Camilla will host Emmanuel Macron, the French president, in a meeting in Clarence House.

However it’s understood they will be staying in their Gloucestershire and Wiltshire homes and not moving back to London full-time.

With extra reporting by Rebecca C Taylor

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