Kate Middleton and Prince William mark Burns Night with surprise delivery of haggis to NHS heroes

PRINCE WILLIAM and Kate Middleton surprised NHS heroes with a haggis delivery to their ward to mark Burns Night.

They sent lunch of haggis, neeps and tatties to 200 Covid-19 staff at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee yesterday.

The future King and Queen also arranged for royal warrant holders to donate Burns Biscuits and gift boxes to a further 100 staff – faced with a four-fold increase in Covid-19 patients.

The duchess wore a tartan dress as she joined William in a video message hailing efforts Scottish hospital workers.

William started the video message saying: "Hello to everyone at NHS Tayside.

"We know Burns Night is a special evening for Scots around the world – a time to come together to eat, drink and to celebrate the life and work of Robert Burns.

"We want to say a huge thank you for all of the work you are doing and the sacrifices you are making.

"As a token of our appreciation, we’ve teamed up with NHS Charities Together to provide you with a Haggis dinner."

Kate, 39, in her Emilia Wickstead tartan dress, added: "We hope you enjoy it, and look forward to better times together soon.

"Sadly this year is a little different. And for many of you working on the frontline, tonight will be a very different occasion, as you work tirelessly through this pandemic to protect the most vulnerable in our society."

Both concluded by wishing good health to the staff, saying: “Slàinte Mhath!”

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are known as the Earl and Countess of Strathearn north of the border.

They met at St Andrews University and are regular visitors to the Queen’s Balmoral estate in the Highlands.

Their gesture followed tension between Kensington Palace and the Scottish government over their trip north of the border on the royal train in December during Covid restrictions.

It also came amid a raft of polls showing that the United Kingdom is at risk, with Scots increasingly supportive of independence.

But royal sources insisted there had been no political pressure from Whitehall or Westminster for the couple to mark Burns Night.

The message was part of their work to support NHS staff and other frontline workers during the pandemic.

In the past three weeks its Covid-19 dedicated wards, Intensive Care Unit and High Dependency Unit at Dundee have seen unprecedented numbers of patients with the virus and a four-fold rise in numbers.

Grant Archibald, NHS Tayside chief executive, said: “Our staff have now been at the frontline in our response to Covid-19 for more than 300 days and their dedication has been truly awe-inspiring.

"It means so much to all of our teams across Angus, Dundee and Perth & Kinross to receive this special message of appreciation today which underlines the ongoing, extraordinary efforts of Team Tayside.”

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