Well, this is a piece of good news if I've ever read one.
Yesterday The Sun broke a story that the Duchess of Cambridge had been volunteering with the Royal Voluntary Service, calling 85-year-old Yorkshire resident Len Gardner during the pandemic to see how he's been faring. Len is batting bladder cancer while caring for his wife, Shirley, who has Alzheimer's.
“Never in my wildest imagination did I think I would be talking on the phone to the future Queen of England," Len said of their two chats. “I will treasure our conversations for the rest of my life. Those calls helped me because they gave me something to look forward to.”
Len, who said Her Royal Highness insisted that he call her "Catherine," first got a call in May from Norfolk.
“After the first two sentences I didn’t feel like I was talking to someone so important."
For 30 minutes, Len and Catherine had a wonderful conversation. "She told me Prince George and Princess Charlotte were playing in the garden and she was keeping an eye on them through the window.”
When Len told Kate that he loved Italian food, the avid cooker asked if he made his own pasta. Len said no because he didn't have a pasta maker, nor did he have the special flour needed to do so.
According to Len, three days after their phone call a pasta maker and special flour from Buckingham Palace arrived at his doorstep.
“I can tell you, this lady you see on television that goes into the crowds and talks to people -- what you see is what you get," Len said. "She is a very, very nice person.”
Len said that it was on his "bucket list" to meet Will and Kate, which he got to check off his list when the royal couple stopped by his and Shirley's Yorkshire home tonight during their Royal Train tour of the U.K.
In the video taken below by Kensington Palace, Kate was seen leaving a gift at the steps of the Gardners' home as the couple made their way outside. Len must have had a bit of time to prepare, because he handed Will and Kate a gift bag.
The tour is a "thank you" to everyone in the U.K. who has helped support their communities during the pandemic.
“Catherine and I felt that it was extremely important to visit just some of the heroes that have emerged this year to thank you for all that you have done," William said during a speech in Manchester tonight. "Whether that’s transport workers, paramedics, school teachers or indeed staff and volunteers like those of you online across the @FareShareUK network or here in Manchester tonight. You are the people that have not only kept our country going but have also helped warm all our hearts by showing us the very best of human nature.”
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