The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge paid a visit to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn today to pay their thanks to the staff as the NHS celebrated its 72nd birthday. They met and spoke with staff at the site, and later posted pictures of the event on Twitter, thanking them once again for “the resilience, perseverance and hope you’ve shown our nation”. However, their celebratory post inspired outrage from social media users, many of whom levelled harsh criticism at the couple.
Twitter users immediately drew attention to the couple’s lack of PPE and social distancing during the trip as they hailed the success of health workers in fighting COVID-19.
Pictures showed the couple closely interacting with hospital workers, and sitting around a table with less than the one metre of required separation.
One incensed user immediately responded: “WHERE ARE THEIR MASKS????????????????”
Another added: “I expected more of you. Masks would have sent a strong message.”
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One user even suggested the royals had signalled the pandemic was “officially over”.
They said: “No face masks and no social distancing. I guess the royals are declaring #COVID19 is officially over, huh?”
The Government has not made wearing a mask compulsory in all settings, only on public transport.
However, they have asked people to keep at least one metre apart where possible, as this helps to contain COVID-19.
Queen Elizabeth II made a stunning tribute to the health service yesterday by projecting a blue light on Windsor Castle.
Prince Charles followed earlier today with a video statement posted to the Clarence House Twitter account.
The heir to the throne paid his respects to the “remarkably selfless nurses, doctors, paramedics and countless other staff have made costly sacrifices to provide treatment for more than a hundred thousand patients with Coronavirus and thousands more who needed other care”.
He also spoke of his appreciation for hospitality workers, many of whom returned to work yesterday as pubs and restaurants reopened.