Thursday, 11th March 2021—The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (William and Kate) visited School 21 in East London to show their support for teachers and students as schools reopen as lockdown restrictions ease. The couple also highlighted the Mentally Healthy Schools project.
The visit to School 21 was the couple’s first in-person joint royal engagement of the year due to the Coronavirus pandemic. The country had been under ‘stay at home’ orders since late 2020, so like most of the population, the couple have been working from home, carrying out most of their engagements via Zoom video conferencing software.
William and Kate visited in the same week that schools reopened following a national lockdown. Prior to this, children had been learning from home since before the Christmas break.
The visit took place entirely outdoors. You’ll notice most royal outings took place outdoors last year. The Daily Mail has an article from 2020 explaining that this is “in keeping with government guidelines” and “royal visits are likely to continue outdoors until these rules are relaxed”. William and Kate heard spoke with teachers about the mental health initiatives the school have implemented and they chatted with children as they played in the yard.
Following the visit, the couple shared a supportive message to their social media accounts:
As schools reopen across the UK, we want to say a big thank you to all the teachers and pupils for the amazing work you’ve done as you reunite with one another in your classrooms.
But returning to school won’t be easy for everyone, and for many the last year will have taken its toll. No one should feel alone and that’s why from today all schools across the UK can get free expert information about mental health, courtesy of #MentallyHealthySchools.
Mentally Healthy Schools the UK’s first mental health information and resource hub for secondary schools and colleges. It is provided by the Anna Freud Centre. Anybody who follows the Duchess will remember she is Patron of the charity.
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