Royal News

Kate and William call colleagues of first NHS worker to die from coronavirus

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have reached out to colleagues of the first NHS frontline worker to die in the battle against coronavirus. Amged El-Hawrani, an NHS consultant, contracted Covid-19 and died in hospital at the age of just 55. He had been working at the Queen's Hospital Burton, Staffordshire, which was one of two hospitals to get a call from Prince William and Kate Middleton. The royal couple continue to support workers during the outbreak that has claimed the lives of more than 2,000 Brits. They chatted to staff from University Hospital Monklands in Scotland and Queen's Hospital Burton on Wednesday afternoon. Because of the strict lockdown measures the royal family has been forced to resort to phone calls and video conferencing to conduct their royal duties. The Court Circular, a daily list of the official engagements conducted by the Queen and her family, recorded their telephone calls to the hospitals as events yesterday. It said: "The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge this afternoon talked to staff at Queen's Hospital Burton, Burton on Trent, Staffordshire, via telephone. "Their Royal Highnesses afterwards talked to staff at University Hospital Monklands, Airdrie, Lanarkshire, via telephone." Mr El-Hawrani's son Ashraf said: "Most of my Dad's time was dedicated towards his family, and the rest of that time was dedicated towards his profession. "He taught me the significance of respect and equality. He also stressed the importance of not worrying about the things I cannot control, which he displayed to me right up until the end of his life. "He did not seek the praise and approval of others, he was satisfied by viewing the positive effects of his actions and the wellbeing of his family. I am incredibly proud to say that for 18 years of my life, Amged El-Hawrani was my father." While Kensington Palace declined to comment on the exact nature of the conversations, experts have said how they believe the Duke and Duchess will 'lead' the royal family in their response to the ongoing crisis. The couple are currently seeing out the public health crisis at Anmer Hall in Norfolk with their children. The Mirror told on Sunday how William and Kate have vowed to "do whatever they can – when the time is right" as the last Royals standing on the front line of the coronavirus battle. The couple have been working "flat out" while other members of The Firm are nowhere to be seen in the wake of Harry and Meghan quitting the family. A royal source said: "In extraordinary times, you need an extraordinary effort. "The Duke and Duchess have links to many sectors, the willingness to show unity with the country and an ability to bring people together. "As other family members are out of action, they have been working flat out and stand ready on the front line to do whatever they can but when the time is right. "William has spoken of his sense of duty and now, in the midst of this crisis, he feels it more than ever." Palace insiders have confirmed William and Kate will make further contributions after the lockdown is lifted. They released an emotional video last Thursday – viewed by five million – showing Prince George, six, Princess Charlotte, four, and Prince Louis, one, applauding NHS staff. William and Kate's telephone calls came the same day the Prince of Wales delivered a message of hope to the nation in the midst of the health crisis, saying 'end it will' and praising the 'remarkable NHS' as its staff 'battle heroically to save lives'. Prince Charles, 71, who has come out of self-isolation following his Covid-19 diagnosis, recorded a video message in support of the charity Age UK, which he represents as patron. He said: "As a nation, we are faced by a profoundly challenging situation, which we are only too aware threatens the livelihoods, businesses and welfare of millions of our fellow citizens. "None of us can say when this will end but end it will. Until it does, let us all try and live with hope and, with faith in ourselves and each other, look forward to better times to come." Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, 72, remains in isolation away from Charles after his diagnosis, despite not suffering any symptoms. However, she has used her own platform to raise the profile of services such as Silverline, which help connect elderly people often living in isolation to connect with others through regular telephone conversations. As the country went into lockdown last week, the Duchess also posted a series of messages on the royal family social media networks to advertise a range of services for those suffering domestic violence inside homes they fear leaving. The Queen, 93, remains in isolation with husband Prince Philip, 98, at Windsor Castle. A senior palace source said: "The Prince of Wales has been working tirelessly to maintain contact with his catalogue of charities and patronages and of course stands ready to help in any way possible, when the time is right." Source
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