Thousands of people in Britain have taken to their windows and front porches for a mass round of applause for health and emergency services workers fighting the coronavirus pandemic.
Clapping, banging pots and pans, cheering and waving at neighbours with whom they are no longer able to shake hands because of the national lockdown, vast numbers of people took part in the “Clap for carers” initiative – which mirrors similar events in other countries.
Sporting and entertainment venues – including London’s Royal Albert Hall and the National Theatre – were among dozens of landmarks that lit up in blue across the British capital in tribute to the NHS logo, as the mass applause kicked off at 8pm on Thursday (local time).
The movement was widely spread on social media and called on people across the country to deliver a round of applause in appreciation for doctors, nurses, and all those tackling the COVID-19 outbreak.
Among those to respond were Prince William and Kate Middleton.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge shared a rare video of their three children to their Instagram. It shows Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis side by side, clapping and smiling to show their thanks for those at the frontline in the battle against COVID-19.
“To all the doctors, nurses, carers, GPs, pharmacists, volunteers and other NHS staff working tirelessly to help those affected by #COVID19: thank you,” the post reads.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his next-door neighbour, Treasury chief Rishi Sunak, also joined the national applause from the front of 10 Downing Street.
In a video posted on his Twitter page, Mr Johnson thanked NHS staff and said the government would support them “in any way that we can”.
Mr Sunak then said: “Whatever you need, that’s what you’re going to get.”
Britain is battling a devastating spread of coronavirus. On Friday (Australian time), its coronavirus death toll rose from 475 to 578, and there were 11,658 confirmed cases.
More ominously, the BBC reports that it was the first time COVID-19 deaths had risen by more than 100 in a single day.
Prince William’s father, Prince Charles, 71, tested positive for the virus earlier this week. He is said to be suffering only minor symptoms and is in self-isolation with the Duchess of Cornwall.
Charles posted his own video to social media, showing him and his wife Camilla clapping from separate rooms in self-isolation at their Scottish home, Birkhall.
It was the first time Charles has been seen publicly since his positive test.
The Queen and her 98-year-old husband, Prince Philip, are at Windsor Castle, where they are said to be safe and well.