The Queen Is "Greatly Impressed" by Prince William Amid Coronavirus
"He has shown great empathy and compassion during a national crisis, which has impressed her greatly."
When the COVID-19 outbreak sent Queen Elizabeth into self-isolation in Windsor and Prince Charles tested positive for the virus and was under quarantine in Scotland, it was Prince William who became the face and voice of the royal family during the crisis. And, as a result, he's earned high marks from his grandmother.
In March, days after it was announced that William would become Patron of the National Emergencies Trust, he launched an emergency coronavirus appeal in a short video posted to the Kensington Royal Instagram. He saluted the work of the NHS and encouraged the nation to remember "the people of the U.K. have the unique ability to pull together." He and Kate Middleton also visited an NHS center and met with its staff.
"The Queen is so very pleased and proud of the Duke of Cambridge for stepping up," a Palace insider told me. "His physical presence was absolutely essential. The family could not absent themselves during this terrible time. Her Majesty thought William was exemplary in his show of support of NHS workers and emergency workers. He has shown great empathy and compassion during a national crisis, which has impressed her greatly."
Veteran royal watchers in the U.K. thought it was quite significant that William was the first member of the royal family to address the nation about the crisis. "Given [the ages of the Queen and Prince Charles], which puts them at a greater risk during the epidemic, it was absolutely appropriate for William to take the lead," said the insider.
William was also the first to post about it on social media. The Queen, Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, and Prince Harry and Meghan Markle all followed suit. Even the 98-year-old Prince Philip recently issued a rare statement of support.
On Mar. 26, as people all over Britain came together at 8 p.m. to applaud those on the front lines as part of a #clapforcarers campaign, the Cambridges also joined in. A sweet video of Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis happily clapping was posted to the Kensington Royal Instagram.
"The Queen thought the video of the children clapping was cheering and brilliant," said my insider. "It reminded her of the way she and her sister, Princess Margaret, tried to keep spirits up during the war when they were children with their radio message, which she referenced in her own address to the nation. She sees herself in William."
The Queen and Prince William have always had a special relationship. After Princess Diana's tragic death in 1997, the then-15-year-old prince relied on his grandmother, who schooled him in the history and traditions of the British monarchy. While studying at Eton, William would walk to nearby Windsor Castle every week for tea with "granny" where the Queen would informally introduce her grandson to royal protocol and customs. Unlike his impulsive younger brother, Prince Harry, William shares the Queen's stoicism and steadfast nature, which proved to be a valuable asset during the highly-charged "Megxit" negotiations.
While the coronavirus pandemic continues to paralyze the U.K., the royal family will continue to rely on William and Kate to shoulder a lion's share of the responsibility to offer support and show solidarity with the nation and the world. "He is a natural leader," my source added.
An outline recently published on the Royal Foundation website offers a blueprint of Prince William and Kate's plans stating, "This work will be our top priority for the months ahead." And for more on William and Kate, check out William and Kate's Most Adorable Couples Moments Through the Years.