The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge thanked the key workers for their tireless efforts during the coronavirus pandemic. The royal couple sent the Burns celebration lunch to a multi-disciplinary COVID-19 response team who work in the COVID-19 Intensive Care Unit and High Dependency Units at Ninewells Hospital.
In a video message, Prince William told the NHS workers: “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.”
The Duchess wore a red tartan dress for the Scottish occasion.
She said: “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.”
Prince William continued: “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.”
The Duchess added: “We hope you enjoy it, and look forward to better times together soon.”
The NHS workers were given a Burns celebration lunch of haggis, neeps and tatties courtesy of Tayside Health Fund and NHS Charities Together.
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“We review our guidance regularly though as the First Minister regularly says in her daily briefings, it is not possible to offer a definite position ahead of time given the variables and unknowns presented by the pandemic.
“From a personal point of view, I think the [tour] is one which would mean a lot to many people living throughout the country.
“My anxiety though is the practical aspects of it and how presently it may be difficult if travel restrictions are in place.
“I think my view is that at the moment the chances of the tour having to be postponed are potentially quite high.”
A week later, the head of the Scottish Government’s cabinet, parliament and governance James Hynd told the couple: “The Scottish Government is likely to bring forward statutory restrictions on non-essential travel both within Scotland and also into and out of Scotland.
“This is obviously likely to have a major impact on the plan you are working on I’m afraid.”
Despite these emails, the Cambridges embarked on their trip to Scotland two weeks after Mr Hynd’s message.
When questioned about the royals’ trip, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “The Scottish Government was advised about the intention to visit, and we made sure that the Royal Household was aware, as you would expect, of the restrictions in place in Scotland so that could inform both the decisions and the planning of the visit.
“Any more questions should be directed to the Royal Household.”
Ms Sturgeon was branded as “spikey” by a royal expert over her response to the Cambridges’ trip.
Royal commentator Russell Myers told Pod Save the Queen: “The First Minister of Scotland was, let’s say it was a barbed reference, she was a bit spikey, she didn’t necessarily want to get involved with the flag-waving ‘isn’t this all a great idea’.”