Coronavirus: Prince William and Kate call colleagues of medic who died of COVID-19

Rebecca Taylor
Royal Correspondent
The couple spoke to colleagues of the first medic to die of coronavirus

Prince William and Kate have given their support to the colleagues of one of the medics to die from COVID-19, as the NHS continues to fight the pandemic.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge talked to staff at Queen’s Hospital Burton, where Amged El-Hawrani worked as an ear, nose and throat specialist.

The 55-year-old contracted COVID-19 and died at Glenfield Hospital in Leicester.

The consultant, who took part in a trek across the Himalayas several years ago to raise money for the NHS trust, was being treated in intensive care and had reportedly not been in contact with patients in recent weeks.

William and Kate spoke to staff at his hospital before calling the staff at a hospital in Airdrie, central Scotland.

It comes as the Royal Family adjusts to the lockdown, carrying out phone calls instead of physical engagements.

Read more: The five NHS workers killed by coronavirus

Amged El-Hawrani, the consultant who was the first frontline NHS hospital worker to die after testing positive for coronavirus. (Press Association)

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The court circular for 1 April read: “The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge this afternoon talked to staff at Queen's Hospital Burton, Burton on Trent, Staffordshire, via telephone.

“Their Royal Highnesses afterwards talked to staff at University Hospital Monklands, Airdrie, Lanarkshire, via telephone.”

The Queen was the first of the royals to move important meetings to phone calls. Her weekly audiences with the prime minister have been held over the phone for three weeks, with Wednesday’s meeting no exception.

Read more: Coronavirus: Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis join 'Clap for Carers'

The royals are also embracing conference calls. Princess Anne conducted a meeting with trustees of the Animal Health Trust, of which she is president, by conference call.

Earlier this week, William called the chief executive of the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, of which he is president.

While the Royal Family cannot carry out engagements at the moment, the Queen has been able to carry out some elements of her work, and appointed her cousin Lady Elizabeth Shakerley a Commander of the Royal Victorian Order.

She will also be receiving the red box of government documents everyday while she stays in Windsor Castle for Easter Court.

There will be no traditional Maundy Service this year, a key part of the Easter Court diary.

Prince Charles, who is out of self-isolation having suffered with coronavirus, sent a video message on Wednesday to thank NHS workers, as well as praise supermarket shelf stackers, for their work during the pandemic.

He offered a message of hope saying “end it will” of the current crisis, and urged people to be kind.