The Prince and Princess of Wales surprised NHS staff by dropping in for a tea party at a London hospital.
William and Kate added the finishing touches to cupcakes and helped lay tables at a reception at St Thomas’ Hospital before the health service’s 75th anniversary today.
They met with guests including Aneira “Nye” Thomas, the first baby born on the NHS, named after NHS founder Aneurin Bevan.
The guest list at their NHS Big Tea party also included three generations of NHS workers from one family – inspired by grandmother and former nurse of nearly 50 years Blanche Hines, who was part of the Windrush generation.
At one point, when discussing whether to apply the jam or cream first to a scone, William joked: “Whatever is closest.”
The event was hosted by NHS Charities Together, which the prince and princess are patrons of. The guest list also included pioneers in research and those on the frontline tackling Covid-19.
William concluded the visit with a video message for the entire NHS:
“Wishing everyone a very happy 75th birthday for the NHS. Thank you so much for all you do.”
William and Kate visited St Thomas’ in May ahead of the NHS anniversary on Wednesday.
It came before King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla also yesterday held their own NHS garden party at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Scotland.
Ellie Orton OBE, Chief Executive of NHS Charities Together, said: “We want to say a huge thank you to our Royal Patrons, and everyone who’s helped celebrate the 75th anniversary of our beloved NHS this year.”
Speaking about the anniversary, NHS England boss Amanda Pritchard said:
“While many things have changed over the last 75 years, the skill and compassion of NHS staff who care for our patients and their families has always remained constant.
“They face enormous challenges: recovering services, addressing Covid backlogs that inevitably built up over the pandemic and dealing with record demand for services.”
She added: “This milestone 75th anniversary is an opportunity for us to reflect on their hard work and our achievements but to look to the future of the health service too.”