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Kate and William give surprise video call with key workers' children at school

Prince William and Kate Middleton

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were in class of their own as they wowed schoolkids during a surprise virtual visit.

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Prince William and wife Kate dropped in on a show-and-tell session by youngsters whose key-worker parents are out on the front line of the nation’s coronavirus battle.

And the Duke, 37, hailed the “good northern volunteering spirit” of staff as they chatted to teachers at Casterton Primary Academy in Lancashire.

The Duke and Duchess staff and teachers at Casterton Primary Academy in Burnley (Image: PA)

Anita Ghidotti, chief executive of Pendle Education Trust, said of their visit: “It was just absolutely fantastic.

“I can’t believe they chose us, out of everyone in the country. Everyone feels very special. It has been a real boost.”

Appearing via video link, the children showed the Cambridges pictures of their parents and their Easter bonnets.

As they modelled homemade bunny ears, William laughed: “I like your bunny ears, they look like the real deal – that’s a strong look!”

One child told him they had finished a history project, adding: “The first William was William the Conqueror. What do you want to be called?”

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William laughed before replying: “I don’t think I can answer that.”

The schoolchildren were in their Easter best when they got the surprise call (Image: PA)

He and Kate spent an hour speaking to the children, including Harris, 10, and Lloyd, nine.

Harris told them: “This is a picture of my mum and she works for the NHS as an admin for the health visitors and I’m really proud of her.” 

The Duke said: “Well done you! Look at that, that’s a great picture.”

Kate, 38, added: “You should be very proud of her, they’re doing an amazing job, all the NHS workers, so well done.”

Showing them her own picture, Lloyd said: “This is my mum and she works at a special school.”

The Duchess told her it was “fantastic”.

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The Duke and Duchess dial into a classroom video call at Casteron Primary Academy (Image: Kensington Palace)

The school has stayed open because it is near Burnley General Hospital. It is serving as a hub for Castercliff Primary, Pendle Primary, Colne Primet Academy and West Craven High School too – all part of Pendle Education Trust.

The royals heard about the difficulties staff and kids are facing, plus measures the school is taking to help pupils and families – including food deliveries and mental health provision.

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The Duchess said: “To you and everyone who is in during this time, it must be such a relief for all the parents who are key workers to know their children have the normality and structure, and they’ve got a safe place.

"So really, really well done and for all of you. I know it’s not easy circumstances but it’s fantastic.”

Ms Ghidotti said: “Thank you so much. I think everyone is just pleased to be able to help.”

And William replied: “Good northern volunteering spirit going on up there!”

Leala Porter, a school project manager from children’s mental health charity Place2Be, of which Kate is patron, said: “We were so grateful they took the time to call.

"There’s been a genuine warmth throughout the school today with the children.

“The couple talked a lot about our northern spirit and thanked us for all we were doing. It meant such a lot.”

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