Prince William and Kate Middleton spark backlash as they kick off Royal Train tour

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Kate Middleton and Prince William
Kate Middleton and Prince William
Photo: Andy Commins - WPA Pool/Getty Images
  • Prince William and Kate Middleton thanked transport workers, paramedics and staff of the Scottish Ambulance Service, teachers and volunteers as they kicked off their Royal Train tour on Monday.
  • The couple is travelling across England, Scotland and Wales to pass on the nation's thanks to those who worked tirelessly amid the pandemic.
  • The couple's tour also sparked backlash, however, with travel restrictions in place during the ongoing coronavirus crisis.


Prince William and Kate Middleton kicked off their three-day Royal Train tour across England, Scotland and Wales on Monday.

Their first stop was in Scotland, where they thanked transport workers, paramedics and staff of the Scottish Ambulance Service, teachers and volunteers who worked hard to keep people safe amid the pandemic.

Later, while in Manchester, Prince William said in a speech: "Catherine and I felt it was extremely important to visit just some of the heroes that have emerged this year to thank you for all that you have done."

He added: "You are the people that have not only kept our country going but have also helped warm all our hearts by showing us the very best of human nature."

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge did spark backlash, however, for choosing to embark on the tour amid the pandemic and heightened restrictions. The Herald reports that First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon said the Royal Household was informed "of the restrictions in place in Scotland so that could inform both the decision and the planning of the visit".

"The Royal visit is a matter for the Royal household and the arrangements around it, and any questions about those arrangements, should be directed to the Royal household," she said, following criticism suggesting the couple, known as the Earl and Countess of Strathearn in Scotland, had broken the rules amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

It is an offence to travel between Scotland and England for non-essential purposes, the publication explains, and an offence to travel between level three or level four local authorities. Edinburgh is currently at level three.

There is, however, an exemption for those who are "travel[ling] for work, or provide voluntary or charitable services", but only if said engagements cannot be conducted from home.

Day two of the tour has seen the duke and duchess travel to Wales, where their first stop saw them attending a 'Toast Your Own Marshmallow' stall during a visit to Cardiff Castle.  

Prince William, Kate Middleton
Prince William and Kate Middleton attend a 'Toast Your Own Marshmallow' stall during a visit to Cardiff Castle.
Kate Middleton
Kate Middleton during a visit to Cardiff Castle.
Prince William
Prince William during a visit to Cardiff Castle.
Prince William, Kate Middleton
Prince William and Kate Middleton during a visit to Cardiff Castle.

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