Kate jokes about puppy jealousy on thank you visit to NHS staff

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge met 10-week-old cockapoo Alfie at Clitheroe Community Hospital in Lancashire on Thursday. The pup will be trained to support patients and staff at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust alongside therapy dog Jasper.

After the pup licked William’s cheek, Kate described it as “so sweet”, but after enjoying a cuddle she added: “Our dog is going to be very upset.”

Dog-lover Kate was reportedly devastated when her family’s English cocker spaniel Lupo died in November 2020.

Kate’s parents, Michael and Carole Middleton, had given Lupo as a gift.

Months before Lupo’s death, the family welcomed a new puppy which had reportedly been given by Kate’s brother James Middleton.

During the Duke and Duchess’s hospital visit, the couple met with doctors, nurses and patients.

William told staff: “We’re so grateful for all your hard work.

“I’m not sure there are enough words to say how grateful everyone is for what you have done.”

He said he had a particular affinity with staff because of his time as an air ambulance pilot.


Lisa Kay, intensive home support service clinical lead, said: “That was great to hear because it’s not every day you get a royal visit to say thank you.
“It has been a huge morale boost.”

The Duke and Duchess, who are joint royal patrons of NHS Charities Together, heard how support from hospital charity ELHT&Me helped staff at the trust, which is in a part of the country worst hit by COVID-19.

A grant of more than £300,000 from NHS Charities Together, following the public response to its Covid-19 Urgent Appeal, allowed the charity to fund equipment and infrastructure for the staff wellbeing team as well as the new therapy dog.

Director of operations Catriona Logan said the duchess was “really interested” to know how the pandemic had been for staff.

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She said: “We talked about how difficult it was for patients and families being separated by visiting restrictions.
“She was really engaging.”

Meanwhile the Prince of Wales has opened an epic nature-based children’s adventure playpark inspired by his grandson Prince George’s treehouse.

The 300-square metre rustic wooden playground is six metres up among the trees on the Dumfries House estate in Ayrshire, Scotland.

It features elevated rope bridges, a netting tunnel, two side-by-side racing slides and a tube slide.

Commissioned by Charles’ charitable organisation The Prince’s Foundation, the park is designed to encourage youngsters to immerse themselves in nature, boosting their physical wellbeing and mental health in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The central play tower is made from sustainably sourced English chestnut and took inspiration from the treehouse at the prince’s Gloucestershire home Highgrove.

The original, with a pointed thatched roof, was built as a den for William and Harry for William’s seventh birthday in 1989, but Charles refurbished it for his eldest grandson George in 2015.

The new one at Dumfries House, near Cumnock, was also due to have a thatched roof, but this was switched in favour of cedar shingle to match the rest of the tower.

Charles, 73, explored the playpark on Thursday, following a line of children as he made his way across the longest of the suspended wobble bridges.

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