Throughout the course of the United Kingdom’s coronavirus lockdown, one of the biggest focuses has been on how care home residents have been suffering the most. Not solely due to the fact that COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on many elderly people already, but also with regard to their mental health as well.
Fortunately, it seems as though the residents of Shire Hall Care Home in Cardiff received quite a bit of a boost recently, as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge dropped in virtually for a round of bingo. Members of the country’s royal family have been trying their best to stay connected with residents and raise morale throughout the UK during lockdown. And while Zoom has been quite a helpful piece of technology for Prince William and Kate Middleton, they opted to put their own spin on this particular video chat.
Originally, the video call took place with three of the care home’s workers, who did say that morale within the building was “lovely” in general, even though additional pressure has been placed on all members of staff due to COVID-19. A ball cage could be seen in the background of the happy couple though, which meant that a bingo game was on its way towards commencing. And sure enough, that momentous occasion occurred right after their chat with the workers.
The royal couple proceeded with spinning the ball cage and William announced to the participants, “Catherine’s going to pick out the first ball”. Sure enough, the duchess went ahead and drew the number 58 from the cage, which saw the game continue with giggles from both William and Kate. The pair even managed to throw in some well-known bingo lingo, with William announcing at one point, “one little duck, number 2” and receiving a response from the care home residents of “quack quack!”.
Shire Hall is part of a family-run network of 19 separate residences across England and Wales, and like many other locations, it has had to adapt to the measures introduced by the threat of coronavirus. And it’s not the first time that William has had virtual calls with staff of care homes, either.
Earlier on in May, he spoke with employees of various residencies within England and Northern Ireland, discussing the unique and challenging issues that have become prevalent in care homes due to coronavirus. During one of those video calls, the prince said that if there is hopefully some sort of positivity coming from the current times, “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”.
The Shire Hall Care Home game of virtual bingo would be won by resident Joan Drew-Smith, who received a round of applause and congratulations from both the duke and duchess of Cambridge. When asked by the prince how he and his wife did with calling the bingo balls, Ms Drew-Smith responded with, “Very good…wasn’t as good as it should have been”, forcing the royal couple to erupt into fits of giggles.