The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s attempt at being bingo callers during a virtual care home visit left something to be desired, according to residents and staff.
William and Kate laughed when they asked for a verdict on their bingo lingo skills and were told it “wasn’t as good as it should have been”.
The couple joined residents at the Shire Hall Care Home in Cardiff on Wednesday afternoon, via a video call, as the elderly played the popular game in the home’s cinema.
Kate took charge of the bingo spinner at their Norfolk home of Anmer Hall, and the couple giggled while taking it in turns to hold up the balls to the screen and call out the numbers.
William told them “Catherine is going to pick out the first ball”, and as his wife held it up to the screen for the residents to see, she announced: “So, the first number is five and eight, 58.”
The duke then chose a ball and held it up, saying “one little duck, number two”, followed by Kate who reached for the next two balls: “Eight and seven, 87. Six and two, tickety-boo.”
Hearing Joan Drew-Smith call out “I won”, the couple clapped, and William congratulated her with a “Yah”, while Kate said “Hi Joan, well done!”
“How are you?” Ms Drew-Smith asked them.
But when William replied “We’re very well thanks” and asked her “How did we do at bingo? We did OK?”, she gave a cheeky reply.
“Very good,” said Ms Drew Smith, before adding “Wasn’t as good as it should have been”, prompting more giggles from William and Kate and laughter from the residents and staff.
They also spoke with Margaret Jones but her carer, sitting with her, appeared to echo Ms Drew-Smith’s assessment of the Cambridges’ bingo hosting skills.
Wearing a face mask and plastic apron – as did all the staff – she quipped “They haven’t done so well in the bingo there”, prompting more laughter from William and Kate.
“Not so well,” laughed the duke, who added: “We’ll say a big thank you and goodbye to everybody. We’ll try and do a bit better at bingo next time.”
Before joining the bingo game, the couple spoke with some of the staff from Shire Hall including Karen Grapes, the general manager, who said the home had experienced residents with Covid-19.
The general manager also described how she told William and Kate about the main difficulties they are facing from coronavirus: “We spoke with the duke and duchess about the care homes, to talk about how we were managing, what the challenges were, how we’re managing the residents, keeping their lifestyle and activities going.”
In recent weeks the duke and duchess have chatted to care workers from across the UK to hear about their experiences of providing care during the coronavirus outbreak, and to thank them for their efforts looking after the most vulnerable in society.
During one of the calls William said: “If there’s hopefully some positivity that comes on to this whole horrendous time, it is that there’s a light shone on all the wonderful things you all do and on the social care sector, and it allows people to acknowledge, respect and appreciate everything you guys are doing.
“And I think we are going to see a shift.”