ENTERTAINMENT

Kate Middleton volunteers phone calls to a lonely retiree during the pandemic


Kate Middleton secretly volunteered during the pandemic and made two long calls to a lonely, cancer-stricken 85-year-old who is full-time caring for his wife with dementia.

The 38-year-old Duchess of Cambridge, who took a whistle-stop tour of Britain yesterday with Prince William to thank the frontline staff, was on the Royal Voluntary Service earlier this year with Len Gardner of Batley, West Yorkshire, connected.

During their long conversations in the first lockdown, Kate talked to the retiree about Italian food and watched sheep shear their children – and even sent him a pasta machine afterwards, reports The Sun.

Grandfather Len, whose wife Shirley, 84, has Alzheimer's disease, told the publication, “I never thought I'd talk to the future Queen of England on the phone.

Kate Middleton secretly volunteered during the pandemic and made two 30-minute calls to a lonely, cancer-stricken 85-year-old who is full-time caring for his wife with dementia

The Duchess was linked to Len Gardner of Batley, West Yorkshire, through the Royal Voluntary Service earlier this year

The Duchess was linked to Len Gardner of Batley, West Yorkshire, through the Royal Voluntary Service earlier this year

“I will treasure our conversations for the rest of my life. Those calls helped me because they gave me something to look forward to. & # 39;

According to Len, who has bladder cancer, is undergoing radiation therapy and had an operation last week, the Duchess skipped formalities when he asked how to address her and said, "Call me Catherine."

"After the first two sentences, I didn't feel like I was talking to someone who was that important," he recalled.

Kate called Len for the first time on May 13th while she and Prince William, 38, were imprisoned at their home in Anm Hall, Norfolk with their three children Prince George, seven, Princess Charlotte (five) and Prince Louis (two) were.

Yesterday the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge took a whistle-stop tour of the UK to thank frontline workers for their work during the pandemic

Yesterday the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge took a whistle-stop tour of the UK to thank frontline workers for their work during the pandemic

Len described their 30-minute conversation as "wonderful," adding that the Duchess told him that Prince George and Princess Charlotte were playing in the garden while she kept an eye on them through the window.

They discussed Len & # 39; s love of Italian food and Kate asked him if he had made his own pasta. He replied that he didn't because he didn't have a machine or the flour to use.

Three days later, Len said a brand new pasta machine had come to his house from Kate, followed by two pounds of specialty flour from Buckingham Palace two days later.

“I can tell you this woman that you see on TV who walks into the crowd and talks to people – what you see is what you get. She's a very, very nice person, ”said Len.

After the friendly gesture, Len wrote the Duchess a thank you letter telling her that he now uses the machine once a week.

Len said Kate and William (pictured during a video call last month) are a "brilliant couple" at reaching people, and meeting the Duchess in person is now high on his "bucket list"

Len said Kate and William (pictured during a video call last month) are a "brilliant couple" at reaching people, and meeting the Duchess in person is now high on his "bucket list"

It also contained some articles he had written for a local magazine and a photo of him and Shirley on vacation.

Prince William and Kate's response now ranks high on Len & # 39; s & # 39; Royal Wall & # 39; over a letter from the Queen congratulating him and Shirley on their 60th wedding anniversary in 2018.

Len was stunned when he received a second call from Kate a month later – and this time the couple chatted for 40 minutes.

He related how Kate took the children to see the sheep shear at Sandringham because George and Charlotte had difficulty understanding how to remove the wool without killing the animals.

Len, who has two adult sons, Ian, 57, and Andrew, 54, said it was the kind of conversation he could have with anyone about their family.

According to Len, who has bladder cancer, was undergoing radiation therapy and had an operation last week, the Duchess skipped formalities when he asked how to address her

According to Len, who has bladder cancer, was undergoing radiation therapy and had an operation last week, the Duchess skipped formalities when he asked how to address her

He added that Kate didn't mention her husband much and he felt that she would like to speak to people outside the palace and in the north of the country to hear about her experiences during the pandemic.

Len and Shirley have been very involved with the Boy Scouts their entire lives, talking about the organization of which Kate is the joint president.

He said Kate and William are a "brilliant couple" for reaching people and that meeting the Duchess in person is now high on his "bucket list".

What is the Royal Voluntary Service?

The RVS is one of the largest volunteer organizations in the country to date. It inspires and enables over 3 million people to give their time to help others meet the needs of the day.

Almost 20,000 volunteers a year already give their skills, experience and time to help people in the community and in hospitals.

The Duchess of Cornwall has been RVS President since 2012 and is a passionate believer in "active aging" to encourage older people to participate in a variety of community initiatives.

Len, who had a brother on the D-Day landings and a sister in the land army, said it took him a long time to "swallow his pride" and seek help from the Royal Voluntary Service when he was raised in one Time when you didn't accept charity.

He and Shirley used to visit social groups hosted by the RVS, and when these stopped due to Covid-19, the organization sorted out volunteers to do Len & # 39; s shopping and check in with regular calls.

Len was busy redecorating his kitchen and writing a book about his life during the pandemic – and spending quality time with Shirley to take her to picnic when the summer restrictions eased.

He admitted that he often feels lonely, especially in the evenings, and struggles with the fact that his “intelligent” wife can no longer communicate with him as she used to.

The RVS is one of the largest volunteer organizations in the country to date. It inspires and enables over 3 million people to give their time to help others meet the needs of the day.

It runs the NHS Volunteer Responder program using the GoodSAM app that recruited over 500,000 volunteers during the initial lockdown. However, more are now being encouraged to sign up for the winter months.

Catherine Johnstone CBE, CEO of the Royal Voluntary Service, told The Sun, “We are incredibly grateful to the Duchess of Cambridge for kindly supporting the NHS Volunteer Responders program.

& # 39; Your "check-in and chat" call to Len meant the world to him. It's so important to bring out the power of conversation … you can really make someone's day. & # 39;

(tagsToTranslate) Dailymail (t) Femail (t) Kate Middleton (t) Coronavirus Lockdowns