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Kate and William stun shop workers with secret visit for first engagement since lockdown

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Kate stunned staff at a garden centre in Norfolk as she chose the family business to resume her face-to-face royal duties. In a casual attire, the Duchess of Cambridge walked out of her home in Sandringham, Anmer Hall, to visit Fakenham Garden Centre yesterday, where she met the shop’s owners before speaking to staff members. 

Kate, who has been self-isolating with Prince William and their children in Norfolk since schools closed in late March, heard about the measures implemented by the garden centre to make sure both staff and visitors will remain safe as the coronavirus pandemic continues to have a dangerous impact on the country.

This family business reopened last month, on May 15, after remaining closed for seven weeks.

Earlier today, Prince William also stepped out of Anmer Hall to visit a local shop, Smiths the Bakers, who reopened its doors on Monday.

There, the prince spoke to the owners of the bakery along with members of staff about how the coronavirus restrictions have impacted on the family-run business – with 80 percent of the company’s wholesale customers having to close their own operations. 

The Duke of Cambridge also shopped for his family and received a personalised cake ahead of his birthday on Sunday.

Kate is one of the last senior royals to resume face-to-face royal duties.

Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, carried out their first royal engagement in person on Tuesday, when they made an unannounced visit to the Gloucestershire Royal Hospital.  

READ MORE: Princess Charlotte to follow in century-old Royal Family tradition 

There, the royals thanked the staff for their continuous work during the pandemic.

Prince Charles also opened up on his experience with coronavirus, admitting he still feels like he hasn’t recuperated his senses of taste and smell after having lost them to the virus.

Notably, the senior royals also returned to London this week to meet French President Emmanuel Macron and celebrate the 80th anniversary of Charle De Gaulle’s Appel. 

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Also on Tuesday, Princess Anne drove herself to the Duke of Gloucester Barracks to highlight the important role played by military corps during the pandemic.

And Prince William visited staff and volunteers at the East of England Ambulance Service to hear more about how they have coped with the coronavirus crisis over the past few months.

Both Sophie, Countess of Wessex, and her husband Prince Edward have also resumed face-to-face meetings.

The Countess visited the team at the Childline and NSPCC headquarters in London two days ago and joined in a counselling shift.  

On the other hand, Prince Edward attended in person the Surrey Local Resilience Forum at Surrey Fire and Rescue Service Headquarters.

Due to her age, the Queen continues to carry out duties as head of state within the safe walls of Windsor Castle.

Earlier today, the monarch shared a rare statement as patron of the British Chambers of Commerce.

In her brief statement, the Queen praised the generosity of many businesses she has witnessed over the past few weeks and describing as “heart-breaking” many shop owners struggles during the lockdown. 

She said: “As many organisations around the country are reopening, I send my warmest best wishes and support to business communities throughout the United Kingdom, Commonwealth and across the world.

“At a time of great difficulty for many, it is heartwarming to see the civic response and generosity of so many businesses, small and large, to the challenges posed, whether supporting the health sector or vulnerable communities.

“As Patron of the British Chambers of Commerce, it gives me great pride to see the contribution you and your members are making to help firms, champion trade and rebuild communities.

“I wish all businesses every success in their endeavours in these weeks and months ahead.”   



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