In December, Prince William and Kate took a three-day tour of England, Scotland and Wales aboard the royal train tour, in order to thank those on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The tour sparked controversy at the time, as the couple has been condemned by politicians after being accused of ignoring warnings about the royal train tour from the Scottish Government.
Emails released under Freedom of Information legislation reveal that Prince William and Kate were warned against travelling to Scotland due to coronavirus guidelines preventing travel across the border at the time.
John Somers, private secretary to Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s first minister, emailed wrote them multiple times about the major impact the tour would have. According to reports, an email told the Royals on November 12: “You’ll know that we are currently asking people living in Scotland to avoid unnecessary travel from the local authority to local authority and to keep journeys within the area they live to an absolute minimum,” Somers wrote.
“From a personal point of view, I think the [train tour] is one which would mean a lot to many people living throughout the country. My anxiety though is the practical aspects of it and how presentationally it may be difficult if travel restrictions are in place,” Somers continued. “I think my view is that at the moment the chances of the tour having to be postponed are potentially quite high.”
Despite the warnings, the tour went ahead. According to Bazaar.com, Kensington Palace said that the working visit adhered to all rules and “was planned in consultation with the UK, Scottish and Welsh governments”.
“The same guidance we gave last month [before the tour] still stands,” it reads, before reiterating their comments given during the trip last December. “The Duke and Duchess were travelling for work purposes and all rules were fully adhered to. The trip was planned in consultation with the UK, Scottish and Welsh governments.”