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Prince William receives his first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine

Prince William revealed today that he has received his first dose of the coronavirus jab from NHS medical staff at the Science Museum vaccination centre in London.

The Duke of Cambridge tweeted this morning: ‘On Tuesday I received my first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. To all those working on the vaccine rollout – thank you for everything you’ve done and continue to do.’

The 38-year-old royal posted a picture of himself wearing a mask with his sleeve rolled up and a needle in his arm as he received the jab at the museum in Kensington, near where he lives with wife Kate and their three children.

Kensington Palace also did not say which vaccine was given to the second in line to the throne, but he will have been entitled to the Pfizer/BioNTech or Oxford-AstraZeneca jab, because he is aged under 40.

William, who is left-handed, was pictured receiving his jab in his right arm. He is the latest Royal Family member to make public their decision to have the vaccine and he follows in the footsteps of the Queen and Prince Charles. 

However, neither of them were pictured receiving the jab. William has previously spoken out in favour of the vaccine, hailing the ‘monumental’ success of the programme and expressing his desire to have his first dose.

It is understood he received the vaccine that was available at the centre, where Health Secretary Matt Hancock was also inoculated. But it is not known which one he was given. Kate, 39, is yet to get her first dose but a source said she will have it soon.

It comes as: 

  • All those 34 and 35 will receive a text message today or tomorrow asking them to come forward for their jab;
  • Almost 3,000 cases of the Indian variant have been identified in the UK – up from 2,323 declared on Monday;
  • Surge testing has been announced in a number of areas of Britain in a bid to control its spread;
  • Scientists will know more next week on how transmissible the Indian variant is versus the Kent strain;
  • Tourists wanting to visit ‘amber list’ countries were urged by the Transport Secretary to have ‘more patience’.

Prince William tweeted this picture today as he revealed he had received his first dose of the coronavirus vaccine on Tuesday

People queue to receive a Covid-19 vaccine at the Science Museum in London on Tuesday, the day that William received his jab

People queue to receive a Covid-19 vaccine at the Science Museum in London on Tuesday, the day that William received his jab

William and Kate announce week-long tour of Scotland

Prince William and Kate Middleton will take a trip down memory lane next as they head to Scotland next week for a seven-day tour of the country.

The Duke of Cambridge, 38, has announced his plans to travel to Scotland on Friday as part of his role as Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.

The royal will be joined by the Duchess, 39, on Monday 24 May, and together they will visit Edinburgh, Fife, and their first official joint trip to Orkney.

The couple will meet with charities and organisations working on issues such as the environment, mental health, homelessness and addiction, as well as making a nostalgic trip back to St Andrews University, where they met.

The couple will also several events during the week to thank individuals that have gone above and beyond to support their communities over the last year including NHS staff, frontline workers, emergency responders, volunteers, and the military.

Prince William is set to invite emergency responders to watch the Scottish Cup Final with him at a rooftop bar.

Royal biographer Angela Levin, author of the 2015 book Diana’s Babies: Kate, William and the Repair of a Broken Family, tweeted this morning: ‘Very impressive that senior royals didn’t jump the queue.’

Prince William was struck down by coronavirus in April 2020 and ‘struggled to breathe’ during his battle with the virus. But the public only found out later because the Royal did not want to alarm them.

He is understood to have caught it just days after his father Prince Charles announced he had Covid and shortly after Boris Johnson was struck down by it.

The royal was forced to self isolate at Anmer Hall in Norfolk as he shook off the virus as doctors helped him through it.

Despite fighting the debilitating illness, the Prince still managed to pull off 14 telephone and video call engagements in April.

A source told the Sun: ‘William was hit pretty hard by the virus – it really knocked him for six. At one stage he was struggling to breathe, so obviously everyone around him was pretty panicked.

‘After seeing medics and testing positive – which was obviously quite a shock given how fit and healthy he is – William was determined it should be business as usual though. He was determined to fulfil his engagements.’

William also spoke out against misinformation over the coronavirus and vaccines on social media and online.

In February he urged people get jabbed so ‘younger generations’ will feel ‘it’s really important for them to have it’.

Speaking to two clinically vulnerable women, he said: ‘Catherine and I are not medical experts by any means but we can wholeheartedly support having vaccinations.

‘We’ve spoken to a lot of people about it and the uptake has been amazing so far.

‘We’ve got to keep it going so the younger generations also feel that it’s really important for them to have it. Social media is awash with misinformation so we have to be a bit careful who we believe.’

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge speak to staff during a visit to the vaccination centre at Westminster Abbey on March 23

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge speak to staff during a visit to the vaccination centre at Westminster Abbey on March 23

Prince William speaks to staff members during a visit to the King's Lynn Corn Exchange vaccination centre on February 22

Prince William speaks to staff members during a visit to the King’s Lynn Corn Exchange vaccination centre on February 22

William wears a mask during a visit to a vaccine manufacturing laboratory at Churchill Hospital in Oxford on July 28, 2020

William wears a mask during a visit to a vaccine manufacturing laboratory at Churchill Hospital in Oxford on July 28, 2020

Princess Beatrice shows off the first hint of a pregnancy tum 

Princess Beatrice showcased the first hint of a baby bump hours as she was pictured hours after announcing her pregnancy on the Sussexes’ third wedding anniversary yesterday.

The Queen’s granddaughter, 32, who tied the knot with Italian property developer Edo Mapelli Mozzi on 17 July last year, is expecting the baby in autumn 2021, Buckingham Palace announced yesterday morning.

In the afternoon the couple appeared in high spirits as they set out for a walk in west London, with Beatrice opting for a loose fitting bright leopard print dress for the occasion.

The mother-to-be, who swept her auburn locks into a high messy bun for the outing, could be seen beaming and chatting with her husband.

The Queen and both families are said to be ‘delighted’ with the news the couple are expecting, which will have brought much joy to the monarch who is mourning the loss of her husband Prince Philip, who died last month aged 99.

Meanwhile Kate yesterday took a solo trip to the V&A in London and said now is a good time to visit the UK’s art galleries and museums because they are not ‘full of tourists’.

Kate, who studied art history at university and is royal patron of the V&A, viewed two new exhibitions as the London museum opened its doors to the public for the first since December.

Speaking to staff at the end of the visit she said: ‘I think people have been craving beauty and inspiration. It’s going to be a good time to visit museums and galleries as they are not full of tourists coming in.’

She added: ‘I am very glad to be here today as we have had to cancel three previous visits because of COVID, so it’s nice to be here.’  

The visit came as Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall continued their tour of Northern Ireland and the Queen hosted a virtual audience via videolink from Windsor Castle.

Meanwhile Prince William’s cousin Princess Beatrice announced she is expecting her first child with Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi this autumn. It is also the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s third wedding anniversary.

Meanwhile Prince Charles and Camilla met traders in an open air market in Bangor, Northern Ireland.

The Prince of Wales, 72, sported his signature pinstriped suit and looked delighted to meet well-wishers in the town as he set aside any concerns arising from his son Prince Harry’s explosive string of interviews with US broadcasters.

The couple were greeted by local schoolchildren from Bangor Central Integrated Primary School and Bangor Central Nursery School as they arrived in the seaside town on Wednesday.

The Queen also carried out an engagement yesterday, appearing via videolink from Windsor Castle to receive the Argentine Ambassador, who was at Buckingham Palace.  

The Duchess firstly visited the museum’s Raphael Court, home to the Raphael Cartoons, which reopened today following a nine-month refurbishment to mark the 500th anniversary of the artist’s death

The Prince of Wales, 72, sported his signature pinstriped suit and looked delighted to meet well-wishers in the town as he set aside any concerns arising from his son Prince Harry's explosive string of interviews with US broadcasters

The Prince of Wales, 72, sported his signature pinstriped suit and looked delighted to meet well-wishers in the town as he set aside any concerns arising from his son Prince Harry’s explosive string of interviews with US broadcasters

The Queen has also carried out an engagement today, appearing via videolink from Windsor Castle to receive the Argentine Ambassador, who was at Buckingham Palace

The Queen has also carried out an engagement today, appearing via videolink from Windsor Castle to receive the Argentine Ambassador, who was at Buckingham Palace

Ahead of Prince William revealing he had his jab, England’s deputy chief medical officer said yesterday Britain is in a ‘straight race’ to vaccinate its population in order to outrun the threat of the Indian coronavirus mutation.

Professor Jonathan Van-Tam said the jab-rate over the next few weeks would be crucial for ensuring the Prime Minister could lift all Covid restrictions on June 21, as set out in his road map out of lockdown.

As part of efforts to ‘turbo-boost’ the vaccine programme, more than one million people aged 34 and 35 will receive a text message today or tomorrow asking them to come forward for their vaccine, NHS England said.

It comes amid growing confidence within the Government that the vaccines available in the UK will work against the Indian strain and that the B1617.2 mutation will prove less transmissible than first feared.

Almost 3,000 cases of the Indian variant have been identified in the UK – up from the 2,323 declared on Monday – and surge testing has been announced in a number of areas in a bid to control its spread.

Prof Van-Tam told a Downing Street press conference yesterday: ‘I pitch this personally as a straight race between the transmissibility of this new variant… and vaccine delivery.

‘The NHS is doing everything it can to turbo-boost that, and that is the challenge that’s ahead of us in the next two to three to four weeks, to make sure that we outrun the virus through really vigorous pull-through on vaccine delivery.’ 

Prof Van-Tam said scientists would have more information by next week on how transmissible the Indian variant is versus the Kent strain, which has become dominant in the UK.

Experts had feared it could be up to 50 per cent more transmissible, but the Government adviser suggested studies could find it is only half that.

The spread of the variant of concern had cast doubt on next month’s plans to ease the remaining restrictions in England, but Boris Johnson told the Commons his administration had ‘increasing confidence’ that vaccines would prove effective against it.

Sources confirmed Mr Johnson told the 1922 Committee of backbench Conservative MPs he was ‘even more cautiously optimistic’ than last week about being able to scrap all restrictions next month.

England's deputy chief medical officer Professor Jonathan Van-Tam (left, with Health Secretary Matt Hancock yesterday) that Britain is in a 'straight race' to vaccinate its population in order to outrun the threat of the Indian coronavirus mutation

England’s deputy chief medical officer Professor Jonathan Van-Tam (left, with Health Secretary Matt Hancock yesterday) that Britain is in a ‘straight race’ to vaccinate its population in order to outrun the threat of the Indian coronavirus mutation

Health Secretary Matt Hancock struck a more cautious tone at a press briefing earlier in the day, saying a final decision on whether to move to the next stage of the road map would be taken as late as possible – on June 14, a week before the measures would take effect.

‘Until then, it is just too early to say,’ said the Cabinet minister.

Mr Hancock defended the Government’s moves to open up international travel via a traffic light system after the ban on international holidays was lifted on Monday, as part of the latest phase of lockdown easing. 

There had been confusion after his Cabinet colleagues offered different answers this week about the circumstances under which people could visit countries on the ‘amber list’, to which travel is allowed but not encouraged.

The Health Secretary said the messaging had been ‘crystal clear’ that the public ‘should not go to an amber or red list country on holiday’ and that any visits could only be in ‘exceptional circumstances’.

Passengers arriving from amber list countries are required to self-isolate for 10 days and take two tests, with Mr Hancock saying 30,000 home visits had been carried out in the last week to check people were quarantining.

But Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary said ‘most of the UK population doesn’t understand’ the rules on travelling to amber-listed destinations, with people ‘booking in their droves’ to take holidays in places not on the green list this summer. International travel rules for England, Wales and Scotland are broadly similar.

In Northern Ireland, journeys to the Common Travel Area – which consists of the UK, Republic of Ireland, Channel Islands and Isle of Man – for visits to family and friends will be allowed from May 24.

But the Stormont Executive has not made a decision about the resumption of international leisure travel from Northern Ireland.

 

 

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