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Liverpool Echo
Liverpool Echo
Abigail Nicholson

Hospital staff didn't know about Prince William and Kate visit until hearing screams outside

Staff working in the Royal Liverpool University Hospital didn't know about Prince William and Kate's visit until they heard screams from outside.

The Prince and Princess of Wales officially opened the new Royal Liverpool University Hospital as part of their visit to Merseyside on Thursday, January 12. But according to Alcohol Nurse Martha Cottrell, staff didn't know about the royal visit until just hours before it happened.

The 26-year-old, who lives near Sefton Park, said rumours started circling around the hospital at around 10am there was going to be a royal visit, but they didn't know who. It wasn't until nurses hears screams from outside that they ran and saw the Prince and Princess of Wales outside the front of the hospital.

READ MORE: Live updates as Prince William and Kate Middleton arrive in Merseyside

Martha said: "We had no clue there was going to be a Royal visit until around 10am, then it was all a whirlwind. I didn't believe it until I was with a patient in A&E and I heard everyone screaming outside.

"I ran out and got to the front somehow. I was a bit concerned about the reception they would get, but they were really well received. They were really lovely and took the time to shake as many hands as they could, and speak to as many people as possible.

"It was all people were talking about all day, and a real moral boost. Not your average day at work."

The royal couple were taken on a tour of the hospital's critical care unit, the Royals met members of staff, volunteers, and members of the public in the foyer. Martha was stood at the front of her section, but behind a desk meaning The Prince and Princess of Wales were not able to come over and speak to them.

When she saw the couple in between chatting with hospital staff, and a volunteer who gave the Princess of Wales a bouquet of flowers, she took her chance and shouted a request in the direction of Prince William. The nurse shouted "give us a wave, Will."

In a video the Will looks over at the nurse before showing a beaming smile and waving at her. Martha said the interaction "made her day".

She told The ECHO: "I was filming the whole time and because he didn't get a chance to come over to us I thought, it's the future King of England and I'll probably never see him again, not face to face anyway.

"People who I didn't even know in the hospital were coming up to me saying 'you're the one Will said hello to'. I like the royals, I like Will and Kate and Harry and Meghan, and enjoy looking at what they're up to.

"I like looking on their Instagram pictures."

Following their visit at the hospital, Their Royal Highnesses travelled to the Open Door Charity, a Wirral organisation that supports young adults across Merseyside with their mental health. Open Door provides members with free, immediate access to a range of creative therapy options.

The Royal's visited the charity's flagship Bloom Building to meet volunteers, mentors and staff. They sat down for a round table discussion about mental health together, where Princess Kate said it is "such an exciting idea to have a one-stop place for this kind of support".


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