Will and Kate shouldn’t have choo-choo-chosen to take the royal train to Scotland during a pandemic

I’m so sorry for that pun. I couldn’t not do it.

A story in the National, a Scottish newspaper, came out today. It was based on an information requested by the newspaper regarding Will and Kate’s royal train tour about 6 weeks ago. The tour was supposed to be a public thank you to people in England, Scotland and Wales who have stepped up during the pandemic.

The communications obtained by the National from Scottish officials strongly advised Will and Kate and their office to not come to Scotland on their royal train tour to thank those helping with the COVID-19 pandemic. In diplomatic terms, they practically begged Will and Kate not to come, for the purposes of health and safety and not looking hypocritical to Scottish residents. The travel ban was country-wide and the proposed tour would surely be seen by some members of the public as the Cambridges getting preferential treatment based on their status as royals. But Will and Kate chose to travel to Edinburgh (and lots of other places) anyway.

Edinburgh North and Leith MP Deidre Brock told The National that it was “irresponsible to travel to eight different locations over three days…People are having to stay in their houses, we can’t meet family or friends, we can’t pay proper respects at funerals, we can’t even hug our loved ones when they’re going through hard times.

I would have hoped that the Royal Family would have had enough empathy to respect what people are going through rather than looking for publicity.

Edinburg North and Leith MP Deidre Brock

Kensington Palace responded to this today by saying that the royal train tour was planned in consultation with the UK, Welsh, and Scottish governments. KP argued when the train tour happened that it was included in the “work or charity exemption” that allowed people in the UK to travel in exceptional circumstances. The fine print stated that this type of travel was not permitted if the work or charity could reasonably be done remotely, which it absolutely could have. (Although a three day Zoom tour isn’t as fun or glamorous as an actual royal train leaving the station in London).

In my opinion, although Will and Kate were technically allowed to travel and although it was done with good intentions and the goal of cheering up a beleaguered population, they shouldn’t have done it. It was a screw up on their part to have travelled to so many locations during a global pandemic. The photos were nice and I’m sure they’ll be shown on TV 8000 times when Will and Kate become king and queen. But I don’t think it was worth the risk of possibly getting sick themselves or having other people congregate and then get sick. They should thank their lucky stars that no one (that I’m aware of) became infected. Think about if someone had. If 10 people had. If 50 people from multiple locations on the tour had. It would have torpedoed their winning PR streak. Let me know what you think.

One more thing

A personal note: I’m not going to be using the donation button provided by Stripe anymore. I have recently learned that Stripe, a private payment processing company, is partly owned by Thrive Capital, which is owned by….the Kushner family. I’ll be using Square from now on. If you’d like to buy me a coffee on Square, you can do so here. Thanks for reading. Stay safe, wear a mask.

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