Prince William and Kate Middleton surprise care home residents with game of virtual bingo
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Prince William and Kate Middleton surprise care home residents with game of virtual bingo

PRINCE WILLIAM and Kate Middleton have paid a surprise virtual visit to a care home in Cardiff to play a bit of bingo. 

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge turned their hands to a bit of bingo calling for the residents of Shire Hall Care Home this week, drawing balls from their very own spinner. 

Kate and William took it in turns to call out the numbers, holding balls up to the screen and announcing each, in turn, using the appropriate “bingo lingo”. 

William began by telling residents: “Catherine is going to pick out the first ball”, before Kate held it up for them to see, announcing: “So, the first number is five and eight, 58.” 

Then it was the Duke’s turn and he did not disappoint, holding his ball up before declaring: “one little duck, number two”. 

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Kate who picked out the next two balls, telling residents: “Eight and seven, 87. Six and two, tickety-boo. 

Soon enough a winner was found, with Joan Drew-Smith calling out: “I won”, much to the delight of the watching Royal couple. 

After the game, William as Ms Drew-Smith: “How did we do at bingo? We did OK?” 

“Very good. Wasn’t as good as it should have been,” she replied, prompting laughter all round. 

One of the carers, who was on hand to assist a local resident, echoed those sentiments, joking: “They haven’t done so well in the bingo there”. 

“Not so well,” the Prince laughed adding: “We’ll say a big thank you and goodbye to everybody. We’ll try and do a bit better at bingo next time.” 

Kate signed off the call with a thank you to everyone involved: “Stay safe everybody and thank-you for your time today, it’s lovely to meet all of you.” 

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Speaking to the Royal couple before the bingo game, Shire Hall general manager Karen Grapes described the challenges staff have faced during the coronavirus pandemic. 

“Yes. I mean, it has been quite a hard couple of months, I must be honest,"” she said. 

“I’ve been in the care home industry here for 12 years in Shire Hall and worked for Hallmark and we’ve never, ever – as you can imagine – come across anything quite like this. 

“The challenges have really been around reassuring the team, the residents, and the relatives. Because that’s been our hardest challenge is the fact that the residents are missing their families, the families are missing their relatives and, you know, a lot of our residents have got dementia, so they’re struggling with dementia so it’s really difficult for them to try and understand. They don’t really understand what’s going on, but they know that their family aren’t here.” 

Shire Hall lifestyles leader Sheila Charles also spoke about how the team has been doing everything possible to keep morale up during this troubling time. 

“To be honest with you, although it’s a terrible situation that the world and the country is in, we can still have fun, we can still have activities, you know, it is a positive daily live at Shire Hall at this moment,” she said. 

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William laughed, replying: “I’ve never known Welsh people not to know how to have fun.” 

The call is the latest in a series undertaken by Kate and William to shine a light on the incredible work being done by care home staff across the UK.