Wednesday, 10 February 2021

The Duchess Tells Students Nurses They Are "Needed More Than Ever"

Over the past year, nursing students have been thrust into an unprecedented situation. For those on work placement amid a pandemic, challenges like never before have been presented to the NHS, as staff on the front line grappled with the toughest circumstances.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge spoke to students from Ulster University, Northern Ireland, as they participated in practical clinical sessions with their lecturers.

The couple spoke to first-year nursing student Abigail McGarvey about her insightful diary. Abigail created it to offer a glimpse into a typical shift for student nurses. She told the Duke and Duchess about the impact of patients being unable to receive visits from their loved ones. She also discussed starting university during a pandemic and how it affected engaging and learning with her peers.

Abigail told the couple her experiences have confirmed nursing is her chosen path. "This is what I want to do for the rest of my life. This is my chosen path. You have to give so much more because families cannot visit."

People reports:

"Caring for people puts me as a student nurse in a very privileged position as many of these people are extremely vulnerable," she said. "In providing person-centered care we often form close relationships with patients and watching them becoming ill and perhaps dying means we have to develop the resilience to cope with that."

McGarvey added that they are "supported by nurses  . . . who act as role models" and she is "so grateful for the experiences" during this placement and is exciting to see where she heads next.

"Starting nursing training during a pandemic is never ideal, but I've been so well supported and I'm so thankful," she continued.'

The Duchess, patron of Nursing Now, told students, "Nursing is one of the most trusted professions in the country, so you couldn't have chosen a better career choice and it's needed now more than ever. You've got almost three generations now. Those coming back from retirement, but also you guys doing your training who are stepping up. It shows real commitment and real teamwork, and it should really be celebrated."

Hello! writes:

'William said: "It's very difficult for you guys to go straight into a pandemic I would imagine, that's really baptism by fire as they say, isn’t it?"

Lisa Semerdzhieva, a Year 3 nursing student, replied: "Yes, right, although it was frightening at the start, you know, you really want to go out more.

"Now you can't wait to get back out and practise, to feel like you're helping, you know, because that’s what we were born to do really."

It very much appears the Duchess wore her Alexander McQueen black tuxedo jacket. The leaf tailored crepe blazer features cobalt blue satin lining. The piece has padded shoulders and a single button fastening. It's currently on sale at Net-A-Porter, reduced from £1,240 to £868.

Kate wore the piece last October for the Wildlife Photographer of the Year Awards.

The Duchess accessorised with a new necklace.

It's the striking £160/$220 Astley Clarkle Round Stilla Lapis Lazuli Pendant necklace (with many thanks to the eagle-eyed Liz from Kate's Closet).

The necklace is described as: "A celebration of vibrancy, this demi-fine Stilla gemstone pendant features a captivating table-cut lapis lazuli gem, set in 18 carat yellow gold plated sterling silver, and uses a spectacle setting to display the entire blue gemstone and show its complexities beautifully. This gemstone pendant is finished with a gold nugget detail and our signature Astley Clarke star-set lapis lazuli tag."

Below the Stilla in Malachite and Amazonite.

Kate's earrings don't appear to be a pair we've seen before. The talented Gabi suggests Missoma's Gold Baya Hoop Earrings as a possibility. It's very difficult to be certain without high-res images.

I know we have several nurses reading the blog. It feels like a good time to say thank you for everything you have done.


  1. As a qualified engineer i know the tremendously heavy-duty work that nurses carry out, from manning almost-always unreliable computerised equipment to maintaining the high standard of care they sign up to and trained to provide. Indeed fermenting shortfalls in this highly-regarded industry is most appeasing. Thanks C

    PS: Something tells me we might see a balcony RF appearance in 2021

  2. It's a week for bundle news delightful. Eugenie's safe delivery and then these two as always making the most of these winter days x

  3. I"d have loved my comment to appear first but i guess not likely because i just read this post. Brilliant Duke and Duchess Kathleen, the workforce always needs uplifting and motivation.

    Cara from Montana UsA

  4. The NHS is amazing! ❤️ So much love to all of you doing it tough in the UK. I’m so happy that Kate and William take time out to acknowledge people who are doing such important work.
    Royal 👑 Watcher

  5. Caroline in Montana11 February 2021 at 15:51

    Love how they are keeping this up! such feelings of goodwill just seem to radiate off them. love the necklace and her straight hair. thanks charlotte for the post, its below freezing here so nice to read something good over my morning coffee!

  6. Nurses have held families up in so many ways this past year. I can’t say enough good about how hard they work. It’s very kind of the Duke of Duchess to continue supporting the frontline workers. And on the fashion note : I love the tuxedo jacket.

  7. Joining the forum late, but Celene is so right. My dad being a nurse is the greatest real-life experience i've had. They work very hard! Teresa x

  8. I work for a supporr service at a university and can confirm that it's been a challenging time for student nurses, some of whom had difficulties completing mandatory placements because of the disruption. I'm sure this call will have been a boost for the students and staff they spoke to. I like the blazer but I'm looking forward to being able to see whole outfits and Kate's more traditional royal dressing!

  9. All full of praises for the couple but wonder perhaps they could consider checking on Scotland too. Amidst the campaigns for election and vaccine roll outs and the politics surely it is a country that might just well receive a royal call

  10. All praise to Duke and duchess Cambridge their wonderful the health care workers have been wonderful. human being they are not aplaud them caring and supportive to them


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