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Image / Editorial

How different members of the British royal family responded to Covid-19

by Grace McGettigan
21st Mar 2020

The Queen via theroyalfamily on Instagram

The Queen via theroyalfamily on Instagram

While we work remotely and engage in social distancing, here’s how the British royal family responded to Covid-19

Covid-19 is impacting people from all walks of life across 183 countries, with more than a quarter of a million cases reported worldwide.

It doesn’t matter how privileged or wealthy you may be, the coronavirus has the potential to affect us all. Even the British royal family, a clan with almost three dozen residences to hide within, are being put out.

The Queen and her husband of 72 years, Prince Philip, have cancelled all scheduled engagements as “a sensible precaution”. The pair have also retreated to their home at Windsor Castle, with the monarch arriving from Buckingham Palace and Philip following via helicopter from Sandringham.

As they are aged 93 and 98 respectively, the couple would be at an increased risk if they were to catch Covod-19. They have reportedly cut back on staff at Windsor Castle as a precaution.

Here’s how they and other members of the British royal family responded to the pandemic:

The Queen

“As Philip and I arrive at Windsor today, we know that many individuals and families across the United Kingdom, and around the world, are entering a period of great concern and uncertainty,” the Queen said in a statement.

“We are all being advised to change our normal routines and regular patterns of life for the greater good of the communities we live in and, in particular, to protect the most vulnerable within them.

“At times such as these, I am reminded that our nation’s history has been forged by people and communities coming together to work as one, concentrating our combined efforts with a focus on the common goal,” she said.

“We are enormously thankful for the expertise and commitment of our scientists, medical practitioners and emergency and public services; but now more than any time in our recent past, we all have a vitally important part to play as individuals – today and in the coming days, weeks and months.

“Many of us will need to find new ways of staying in touch with each other and making sure that loved ones are safe. I am certain we are up to that challenge.

“You can be assured that my family and I stand ready to play our part.”

Prince William

Prince William and Kate Middleton Ireland

Prince William, who is second in line to the throne after his father Prince Charles, was the first of his family to speak publicly about the virus.

Unlike his grandmother who shared a written statement, the Duke of Cambridge posted a video in which he emphasised the importance of local charities and the emergency services.

“Whenever and wherever adversity strikes, the people of the United Kingdom have a unique ability to pull together,” he said.

“The way that local communities support those affected shows the very best of our values and human nature.

“The public’s desire to help in the wake of tragedy needs to be managed and channelled in the best possible way – which is why the establishment of the National Emergencies Trust was so important.

“I saw at its launch last year that I dreaded the day when it would be needed. Sadly, with the outbreak of Covid-19, that day has come faster than any of us would have hoped.

“But now, more than ever, I am grateful that the National Emergencies Trust exists,” he continued. “It will ensure that support reaches those across the UK who need it most, as quickly and efficiently as possible. And it will help to ensure that all our efforts to overcome this challenge are channelled in the best possible way.”

Harry and Meghan

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle via Instagram

Harry and Meghan (who have recently stepped down from their roles as senior roles), have shared a number of lengthy posts about Covid-19.

In the first, the couple said, “These are uncertain times. And now, more than ever, we need each other. We need each other for truth, for support, and to feel less alone during a time that can honestly feel quite scary.

“There are so many around the world who need support right now, who are working tirelessly to respond to this crisis behind the scenes, on the frontline, or at home. Our willingness, as a people, to step up in the face of what we are all experiencing with Covid-19 is awe-inspiring. This moment is as true a testament there is to the human spirit.

“We often speak of compassion. All of our lives are in some way affected by this, uniting each of us globally. How we approach each other and our communities with empathy and kindness is indisputably important right now. Over the coming weeks, this will be our guiding principle.”

The couple went on to say they will share accurate information and resources to help people across the world get through this pandemic and “to lift all of us up”.

“We are all in this together,” they said, “and as a global community we can support each other and build a digital neighbourhood that feels safe for every one of us.”

Confused, alone, anxious, scared and bored

In a second post, Harry and Meghan said, “With everything going on, it’s a lot to take in. Many of us may feel confused. Or alone, or anxious or scared… and in isolation, some of us may just feel bored, or that you don’t know what to do with yourself without your normal routine. It’s perfectly normal to be feeling any of these things.

“Our emotional well-being is challenged every day whether we realise it or not, but our lives are usually filled with distractions. Now with constantly changing Covid-19 coverage, we are all adjusting to this new normal and the feelings that come with it.

“But here’s the good thing (because right now we need to hear good things, right?): Yes, there is isolation and physical distancing, but there doesn’t have to be loneliness.

“There are resources that can help us all through this process, and ways that YOU can become one of those resources”. The post goes on to outline various charities in the UK where people can seek help for their mental health, as well as places for people to train digitally to become counsellors.

Photo: @theroyalfamily, Instagram

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