The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge ‘are taking it upon themselves to keep the nation’s spirit up’ with their UK-wide train tour, a royal expert has claimed.
Prince William and Kate Middleton are to embark on a three day whirlwind tour of the UK today to pay tribute to frontline workers and thank them for their efforts during Covid-19 crisis.
Insiders have revealed the couple hope their tour of the country will ‘lighten the nation’s mood’ ahead of Christmas.
Sources told The Telegraph’s Camilla Tominey: ‘What this year has done has reinforced the value of the royal family as natural actors of state. They are not celebrities – they are there, effectively, to thank people on the public’s behalf.’
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, both 38, are taking it upon themselves to keep the nation’s spirit up’ with their UK-wide train tour, a royal expert has claimed
Meanwhile an insider said the couple had been ‘itching to get out and about.’
Over the next few days, Kate and Prince William will travel on the Royal Train, making stops in England, Scotland and Wales in line with government guidance, finishing their tour on Tuesday.
They will travel 1,250 miles and undertake working visits meeting NHS staff, volunteers, care home staff, teachers, schoolchildren and young people to hear about their experiences, sacrifices and the work they have done throughout this challenging year.
The royal couple are keen to pay tribute in person to the incredible work of individuals and organisations that have gone above and beyond in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Insiders told The Telegraph’s Camilla Tominey the Covid-19 lockdown had ‘reinforced the royal family are not celebrities but actors of the state’
The couple will also pass on the nation’s sincere thanks and gratitude for all of their efforts to keep people safe and keep the country going.
Ahead of their trip, 10-year-old British artist, Joe Whale – known as The Doodle Boy, has created an illustration to bring the journey to life.
Many of the engagements undertaken by the Cambridges will celebrate community spirit and demonstrate the impact of the public’s generosity this year, by showcasing organisations and initiatives that have been supported by community relief funds, including NHS Charities Together.
Their Royal Highnesses’ visits will also showcase the UK’s arts, heritage and live performance sector, which has been supported throughout the pandemic by the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund.
Their Royal Highnesses will travel on the Royal Train (pictured) between Sunday 6th and Tuesday 8th December, making stops in England, Scotland and Wales in line with government guidance
There will be a number of festive performances across the three days by local artists, celebrating the inspiring work of the organisations and projects the Duke and Duchess are visiting.
Queen Victoria was the first reigning British sovereign to use the Royal Train, in June 1842.
The journey was from Slough (at that time the closest train station to Windsor Castle) to London Paddington.
In the year of the Queen’s Silver Jubilee a single set of ‘Royal Train’ carriages was formed for the first time and has remained in service ever since.
Ahead of their trip, 10-year-old British artist, Joe Whale – known as The Doodle Boy, has created an illustration to bring the journey to life
The locomotives that power the train are capable of speeds up to 125mph, but are restricted to 100mph when on royal duty.
The Royal Train was used just five times in 2018, costing on average £22,000 a time.
The Queen, 94, used it just twice in 2018, to Chester with Meghan Markle, 39, costing £29,714, and again in March 2019 when she visited the west of England and returned to Windsor, which cost the public purse £21,230.
Prince Charles, 72, the only other senior royal permitted to use the Royal Train until now, made three trips on it.
A spokesperson for Kensington Palace said: ‘The Duke and Duchess are very much looking forward to shining a spotlight on the incredible work that has been done across the country throughout this difficult year and to sharing their gratitude on behalf of the nation for all those supporting their local communities ahead of the Christmas holidays.’