I’m pleased to see that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s ridiculous and dangerous Covid Choo Choo Tour is still making headlines. The tour happened about five weeks ago, just before the UK went through another round of strict lockdown protocols. Which isn’t to disregard the protocols which were already in place during the planning of the tour and the tour itself – William and Kate chose to ride the Royal Train into Scotland even though Scotland was in a much stricter lockdown than England. It was this stop in Scotland by the Keens which has caused the most controversy and consternation. At the time, Nicola Sturgeon let her displeasure be known, and now we’ve learned that Scottish government figures were warning Kensington Palace to postpone their asinine tour. So what do Will and Kate have to say for themselves? Well…
Prince William and Duchess Kate’s royal train tour to thank frontline workers across the United Kingdom may have been executed with good intentions, but emails released by the Scottish government today reveal that aides working for the royal couple ignored requests to postpone travel during nationwide restrictions. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s three-day trip covered 1,250 miles across multiple stops in Britain, but it was their visits to Wales and Scotland that were heavily criticized by politicians due to restrictions permitting only “essential” travel at the time.
Kensington Palace tells BAZAAR.com that the working visit adhered to all rules and “was planned in consultation with the U.K., Scottish and Welsh governments.” However, a Freedom of Information request made by Scottish newspaper The National revealed that Scottish government officials had emailed the royal household on a number of occasions to warn of the “major impact” the tour would have during such a sensitive time.
A spokesperson for the Cambridges responded to the new reports in a statement to BAZAAR. “The same guidance we gave last month [before the tour] still stands,” it reads, before reiterating their comments given during the trip last December. “The Duke and Duchess were travelling for work purposes and all rules were fully adhered to. The trip was planned in consultation with the U.K., Scottish and Welsh governments.”
Cases and deaths in the U.K. have recently hit new highs, as hospitals are currently at breaking point. More than 80,000 deaths have been recorded in the country—the worst death toll in Europe and the fifth worst in the world.
If you go to the story, you can see the full comments from John Somers, the principal private secretary to Nicola Sturgeon who warned W&K of the ongoing travel restrictions and then urged them strongly to postpone. James Hynd, head of cabinet, parliament, and governance also contacted Kensington Palace to warn them away from visiting Scotland given the restrictions on travel. And Kensington Palace is STILL insisting – after they got two very high-level warnings from Scottish political figures – that they coordinated their tour with Scottish, Welsh and English governments and they adhered to the “rules.” There’s this thing, it’s called “adhering to the letter, but not the spirit of the law.” That’s what W&K are doing – because they didn’t *technically* break any rule and because they were not explicitly banned from going on this asinine tour, they think they’re in the right. The spirit of the pandemic protocols is TO STOP INFECTIONS. Don’t travel when it’s unnecessary, wear a mask even if you’re outdoors, and for God’s sake, stop breathing on children.
Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Backgrid.