Will and Kate hit the tracks yesterday in the name of Santa Claus. The Cambridges are on a three-day tour aboard the historic Royal Train to thank those who've gone above and beyond to support their communities in England, Scotland and Wales during the pandemic.
Before departing from Euston Station in London, Their Royal Highnesses spoke with transport workers who have helped commuters feel safe this past year. Welsh singer Shakin' Stevens performed his 1985 Christmas hit, "Merry Christmas Everyone" (love that song, as does Kate it would appear judging by her low-key dancing). Stevens told the Daily Mirror it was the first time he'd ever played for royalty.
“I’m loving it, it was lovely to be invited,” he said. “And it was them who chose the song. Over the moon.”
The Royal Train pulled into Edinburgh Waverley station in Scotland around 9:30 local time this morning as bagpiper Louise Marshall played "Jingle Bells" and "Santa Claus is Coming to Town."
After speaking with officials at the station, the couple traveled an hour south to Berwick-upon-Tweed, where they met with schoolchildren...and reindeer!
One of the more poignant moments -- and the reason for this tour -- happened when they visited the Scottish Ambulance Service in Edinburgh earlier in the day. Paramedic Alistair Matson, 54, shared a personal loss with Prince William.
"It was very emotional talking to the Prince about losing my father. He was very anxious to hear how we managed to cope with the mental strains of our job," Matson told the Mirror after he spoke with William.
"I was helped considerably by the great sense of camaraderie at my work. There was never any rush to come back and they have been like another family to me."
The Cambridge's tour is reminiscent of the work his great-grandparents, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, did when they lifted spirits during World War II. Even when it was unsafe after the Germans bombed most of the city (and Buckingham Palace), Their Majesties wanted to listen to how others were coping during such a difficult time.
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