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The Cambridges

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge speak to military personnel and families

William and Kate, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge
i-Images/ Pool

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have released videos of conversations with military personnel and their families to mark Remembrance Week, honouring the heroes and their families during a poignant week.

William spoke with deployed service members who are currently serving in the Royal Navy, the British Army and the Royal Air Force, including Flight Sergeant Gemma Thomson with RAF Wyton; Leading Physical Instructor Damon Bell; and Corporal Jiwan Kumar Thapa of the Queen’s Gurkha Signals.

Flight Sergeant Thomson is currently stationed in Qatar; Leading Physical Instructor Bell is currently stationed in the Gulf Coast; and Corporal Thapa is currently stationed in Somalia.

Prince William told them, “I hope that you know that we are still thinking about all of you and the important job you’re all doing and that everyone is very grateful. I hope that over Remembrance Sunday we can remind people just how committed and determined, and how brilliant all the people we have in the Forces are around the world.”

He continued, “People don’t necessarily realise how committed and scattered the British army forces are around the word. It is quite impressive just a little snapshot of you three here in important areas of the globe where we are committed to doing our best and making a difference.

“It is interesting at Remembrance to have that time to reflect on all the roles that you guys are playing and British forces are committed to.”

Kensington Palace noted that the Duke’s conversations included discussions about “their experiences of being stationed overseas, the operational duties that they are carrying out, including the training of local military forces and the protection of international shipping routes, and the work that is being done to support the physical and mental health of those on deployment.”

Kate spoke to families of fallen soldiers in the Armed Forces, those who receive support from the Royal British Legion. On her call, she chatted with Chantelle Wynn, Serena Alexander, Charlton Taylor and Sonia Fleming.

Speaking to 11-year-old Charlton Taylor, whose father, Royal Marine Michael Taylor, was killed in Afghanistan when he was 10-months-old, the Duchess said how nice it was that he liked to hear stories about his father and that he would wear his medals.

To Chantelle Wynn, whose husband Ryan took his life after living with post-traumatic stress disorder after returning home, Kate said that of the work and support of the Royal British Legion, “Sadly, not everybody gets to see that or even actually understand the role they play for families such as yourselves.

“It has such a big impact, particularly at such tragic times.”

The Duchess told the families, “I’m sure you spend your time every day remembering your loved ones, but it’s so important that the nation comes together and really spends time thinking about those who have lost their lives and the families that have been impacted.

“It’s been a real honour to speak to all of you, and I think I speak for the whole nation when I say just how proud you should be of your loved ones, and for the sacrifice and the bravery that they’ve shown. I’ll certainly be thinking of you this difficult week and will be for many years to come.”

About author

Jess is a communications professional and freelance writer who lives in Halifax and has a passion for all things royal, particularly the British Royal Family.