Prince William and Kate Middleton pay respect to UK Covid victims with touching gesture

Prince William and Kate Middleton visited the Westminster Abbey vaccination clinic to show their respect to victims of Covid-19 on the first anniversary of UK lockdown

Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge arrive for a visit to the coronavirus vaccination centre at Westminster Abbey, central London on March 23, 2021, to pay tribute to the efforts of those involved in the Covid-19 vaccine rollout. (Photo by Aaron Chown / POOL / AFP) (Photo by AARON CHOWN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
(Image credit: AARON CHOWN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Prince William and Kate Middleton marked the first anniversary of the UK’s lockdown with a number of touching gestures during their visit to Westminster Abbey this morning. 

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge returned to the site of their 2011 royal wedding to tour its recently opened Covid-19 vaccination center and offer their respects to the victims of the virus. On arrival, they were greeted by clergy members, before being escorted by cathedral staff around the unlikely clinic. 

The royal couple met with patients and volunteers during the poignant visit, as well as NHS clinicians, who shared with them their experiences of delivering the life-saving shot. Will and Kate appeared good-humored as they connected with the public, even sharing a joke in one interaction. 

At noon, they joined the Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr. David Hoyle, for a minute of silence to remember the 126,000 people in Britain who have died from Covid-19. After taking a solemn walk down the very aisle Kate had walked on her wedding day, the couple paid their own individual respects to the victims. 

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 23: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge speak with staff during a visit to the Covid-19 vaccination centre at Westminster Abbey on March 23, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Aaron Chown - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Prince William and Kate Middleton meet staff at Westminster Abbey's vaccination clinic 

(Image credit: Aaron Chown - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

William solemnly lit a candle at the Shrine of St Edward the Confessor, while Kate laid down a bunch of fresh daffodils. The duchess, who was wearing a cream-colored Catherine Walker coat paired with Jimmy Choo heels, likely chose this particular type of flowers for their association with death and grief. 

The Westminster Abbey vaccination center has been up and running since March 10, vaccinating 1300 people in its first two days. It is currently open two days a week and, with its steady workforce of 30 NHS staff and a dozen volunteers, has the potential to vaccinate up to 800 people a day. 

The Queen also paid her respects to those who have been affected by the virus, sending a bouquet of flowers to St. Bartholomew's Hospital in London today. Her Majesty attached the following moving message to the gift: "As we look forward to a brighter future together, today we pause to reflect on the grief and loss that continues to be felt by so many people and families, and pay tribute to the immeasurable service of those who have supported us all over the last year.” 

Emma Dooney
Lifestyle News Writer

Hailing from the lovely city of Dublin, Emma mainly covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health and wellness feature. Always up for a good conversation, she has a passion for interviewing everyone from A-list celebrities to the local GP - or just about anyone who will chat to her, really.

Emma holds an MA in International Journalism from City, University of London, and a BA in English Literature from Trinity College Dublin.