Daily Mail

Prince of PPE: Masked Wills at vac­cine lab

- By Re­becca English Royal Ed­i­tor

THE Duke of Cam­bridge yes­ter­day met the Bri­tish team lead­ing the global race to de­velop a Covid vac­cine.

Wil­liam wore a face mask and pro­tec­tive gear for much of his visit to Ox­ford Uni­ver­sity’s Vac­cine Group at the city’s Churchill Hospi­tal.

It was the first time a royal has been seen wear­ing a mask dur­ing the cri­sis – and it brought back mem­o­ries of his mother Princess Diana in one as she watched a heart op­er­a­tion at Hare­field Hospi­tal, west Lon­don, in 1996.

The Duke was briefed by pro­fes­sors Sarah Gil­bert and An­drew Pol­lard.

Prof Gil­bert said the team started tri­als on 7,500 hu­man ‘guinea pigs’ when they first heard of the virus in China last year. When Wil­liam asked how they were cop­ing with the pres­sure they must be un­der, she joked: ‘We’ve had a few mi­nor melt­downs.’

Prof Pol­lard high­lighted HIV, a virus for which no vac­cine has been found be­cause it mu­tates, say­ing sci­en­tists’ great fear was coro­n­avirus could be the same. In that case, he said, ‘there is noth­ing we could do apart from so­cial dis­tanc­ing for­ever’ – a prospect Wil­liam de­scribed as ‘fright­en­ing’.

 ??  ?? Safety first: Wil­liam in mask, lab coat and gog­gles yes­ter­day
Safety first: Wil­liam in mask, lab coat and gog­gles yes­ter­day
 ??  ?? Royal ap­point­ment: Wil­liam is briefed by sci­en­tists from the Ox­ford team
Royal ap­point­ment: Wil­liam is briefed by sci­en­tists from the Ox­ford team
 ??  ?? Mem­ory: Princess Diana in 1996
Mem­ory: Princess Diana in 1996

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