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 to celebrate the health service’s 75th anniversary.
The royal couple met with guests including Aneira “Nye” Thomas, the first baby born on the NHS, named after NHS founder Aneurin Bevan.
The guest-list at the 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, and television presenter Mel Giedroyc.
The former Eurovision and Great-British Bake Off presenter said it was an “utter privilege” to be involved, adding that people were “so delighted” by the “quintessentially lovely, British day”.
Dr Neil Rees, a consultant clinical psychologist leading the staff wellbeing programme at Guy’s and St Thomas’ – which benefited from NHS charity funding, said: “The Prince of Wales was very mindful of the support that’s been given by NHS charities and how essential that is, and really understood the issues and complexities – particularly with the current challenges we’re facing.
“The pandemic shone a light on the needs of staff, but he was keen to talk about how we maintain the care roles like mine provide, and how charities play a major role in that. It was incredibly special to be recognised in that way.”
William and Kate visited St Thomas’ in May ahead of the NHS anniversary on Wednesday.
Now entering its sixth year, the NHS Big Tea raises funds to provide support for staff, patients, and volunteers.