Kensington Palace Responds to Claims That William and Kate Ignored Calls to Postpone Their Train Tour
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 November 12 email sent to aides for William and Kate by the principal private secretary to Scotland’s first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, raised concerns about the couple’s train stops in the country, where they planned to be greeted by a bagpiper at Edinburgh’s main train station and visit the Scottish Ambulance Service.
“You’ll know that we are currently asking people living in Scotland to avoid unnecessary travel from local authority to local authority and to keep journeys within the area they live to an absolute minimum,” John Somers wrote.
“From a personal point of view I think the [train 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 presentationally it may be difficult if travel restrictions are in place,” he added. “I think my view is that at the moment the chances of the tour having to be postponed are potentially quite high.”