Prince William surprised a doctor as she was taking her break with a personal phone call to thank her for her role in getting out the coronavirus vaccine.
William, 38, said he was proud of his grandparents for getting the jab when it was their turn, and is continuing to boost morale of key workers with personal phone calls.
Dr Lauren Dixon, from the Bridgegate Medical Centre in Barrow-in-Furness, got a call during a short moment of rest from vaccinating people in care homes in Cumbria.
She said: “I was just completely shocked, really nervous and he was just lovely and just really kind and grateful, and saying a really big thank you to everybody that’s in our area that have really pulled together to make the vaccination effort go as well as it has.
“He asked how the roll-out had gone, he asked what it was like going into the care homes and how did they receive us arriving with the vaccine.”
The 42-year-old added: “The care homes have had an absolutely awful time, they’ve really been through the mill over the last year.
“Some of their staff have just gone above and beyond for their residents, stayed all weekend sometimes because that’s what they’ve needed to do.
“So, I think for us, as soon as we had the opportunity to get out to the care homes we felt really excited. And then when we got there, you know the residents were just so happy.”
Dr Dixon’s practice is one of 10 that form the Barrow and Millom Primary Care Network, which has managed to give the first jab to all residents aged 75 and over, and all care home residents.
She also spoke of the joy that residents have in knowing they are closer to hugging their families.
The mother-of-two said: “They’ve been seeing their relatives maybe on videos, if they’re lucky, and sometimes through the window. But they all were just kind of like ‘this is our ticket to being able to see our family again’.
“So we had tears, they were clapping each other when they got the vaccines and it was just a real privilege actually to be able to support them with that.”
Watch: Prince William proud of Queen and Duke for getting COVID-19 vaccine
Another of the surgeries William called was Castlegate and Derwent Surgery in Northumberland, who shared details of the call on their Facebook page.
The post read: “Yesterday our managing partner Sid Williamson, was delighted to receive a congratulatory call on the behalf of our surgery, from His Royal Highness Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge no less.
“Prince William was truly very proud of our vaccination achievements and how well supported we have been by our community, and the amazing Cockermouth Emergency Response Group.”
It added: “Our team has come together to deliver a fantastic vaccination service in the face of adversity, and we are leading the way for Cockermouth.”
Kensington Palace posted on Twitter: “Yesterday The Duke of Cambridge held calls with frontline workers from vaccination sites across the UK to thank them for their tremendous efforts and dedication to delivering the COVID-19 vaccine.
“The COVID-19 vaccination programme is the biggest vaccination programme in NHS history — so far 4.6 million of the most vulnerable and those who care for them have already received their first dose. Last week, the NHS in England vaccinated 140 people every minute.
“An effective vaccine is the best way to protect people from coronavirus and will save thousands of lives. To all those involved in the vaccination programme, a huge thank you for all that you’re doing.”
William and his wife Kate, 39, have had to return to video and phone engagements in the third coronavirus lockdown in England, as they homeschool their children in Norfolk.
The Duchess of Cambridge called nurses on Wednesday, thanking them for going the extra mile in their patient care.
And the couple made a joint call to frontline workers to hear about how they were coping during the pandemic, and how the resources the Royal Foundation has helped financially have helped.
The couple make some of their calls from Sandringham, the Queen’s home in Norfolk, which is close by to Anmer Hall, their home in the county.
Watch: Prince William and Kate speak to frontline workers