It was a full house as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge turned bingo callers during a video call to residents at the Shire Hall Care House in Cardiff on Wednesday. With their own bingo spinner which the Duchess took charge of, Prince William and Kate were in fits of giggles while taking turns holding up balls to the screen, calling out the numbers in "bingo lingo" as they joined residents Margaret Stocks, Margaret Jones, Ray Donoghue and Joan Drew-Smith for a game.
WATCH: William and Kate play bingo with care home residents
William told them: "Catherine is going to pick out the first ball," as Kate held it up to the screen for the residents to see. She announced: "So, the first number is five and eight, 58." The Duke then chose the next one and held it up to the screen, calling out: "One little duck, number two," followed by Kate calling out the next two balls: "Eight and seven, 87. Six and two, tickety-boo."
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William and Kate were in fits of giggles during bingo
But the royal couple may need to brush up on their bingo calling skills! William asked the winner Joan how he and Kate did as hosts, to which the resident said "very good," before adding: "wasn't as good as it should have been," prompting more laughter from the Duke and Duchess. Before saying their goodbyes, William promised: "We'll try and do a bit better at bingo next time."
The lucky winner shared cake and wine with fellow residents, a treat which the Cambridges had specially arranged for the Shire Hall chef to prepare for the residents. Shire Hall is part of the Hallmark Care Homes group, a family-run business which provides residential, nursing and dementia care to more than 1,000 residents across locations in England and South Wales. It is currently home to 87 residents aged from 58 to 99.
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Before the game, the couple heard from care workers about the impact of the coronavirus outbreak and to thank them for their tireless efforts to continue to look after the most vulnerable in our society. William and Kate were also told about how the home has adapted to the current circumstances, with Hallmark supplying them with iPads and tablets so that the residents can keep in touch with their friends and family by FaceTime and Skype.
Speaking after her chat with the Duke and Duchess, lifestyle leader Sheila Charles described the video call as "emotional," while general manager Karen Grapes said: "I think the true emotions came out after they'd gone off screen because the team were quite emotional and in tears going, 'I can't believe that, I can’t believe that.' I think they just were blown away by it. It's just given us all a tremendous lift. We'd like them to come and visit now when it's all over.
"I think it's been amazing that they have taken the time out to talk to us as the care home industry does get left a little bit behind the NHS and other industries, other providers. There's been a lot of bad news, but there's also a lot of good news out there."
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William spoke to care workers in Northern Ireland
Earlier this month, the Duke also made video calls to care workers in England and Northern Ireland. On 6 May, William spoke to members of the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust, who told him how children have been given giant teddy bears to hug by proxy because they have to social distance from their carers. The father-of-three declared "everyone needs a hug", as social worker Eimear Hanna described how staff had bought the bears as substitutes for the youngest in their care, and stand beside them as they cuddle the toys.
The Duke also heard from care workers across England
William then spoke with care workers from different parts of the sector on 14 May, including those providing care within people's homes, personal assistance and supported living services. The Duke also heard about the work that is being carried out by The Care Workers Charity to help those across the social care sector. William praised workers during the call, saying: "If there's hopefully some positivity that comes out of this horrendous time, it is that there’s a light shone on all of the wonderful things you all do and on the social care sector, and it allows people to acknowledge, respect and appreciate everything that you are doing."
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