William and Kate, both 37, helped kick off the National Emergencies Trust, which aims to coordinate the response to tragedies such as the Grenfell Tower tragedy in London and the Manchester Arena terrorist attack in 2017. The organization hopes to bring about a joint action from charities and non-profits to fast-moving and developing events.
The launch, held at St. Martin-in-the-Fields church near Trafalgar Square in London was initially scheduled to be just with William — who has worked for the emergency services as an air ambulance pilot after a career in the RAF as a search and rescue helicopter pilot. But the palace added Kate’s name to the schedule earlier this week, meaning the couple could meet some of those behind the vital new charity together.
The trust is set up to work collaboratively with charities and other organizations to direct public donations to specific appeals and to distribute funds fairly and efficiently at the time of a national emergency. It follows the concept of the Disasters Emergency Committee, which has been the U.K. response to many overseas disasters for more than 50 years.
During the outing on Thursday, the couple was introduced to a small group of people who were affected by some recent disasters, including the Westminster Bridge terrorist attack and the Grenfell Tower blaze. Soon after the fire at the tower, which killed more than 70 people in June 2017, William joined Queen Elizabeth to visit families and first responders. The royal family has shown its support for the community around Grenfell in several ways, with Meghan Markle helping create a cookbook for women running a cafe for residents, and Kate joining a Christmas party for families and helpers. William also took part in an episode of the popular U.K. series DIY SOS in 2018 to support those affected by the fire.
The couple, who were last seen publicly alongside each other on their tour of Pakistan in October, are believed to have spent much of last week with their children at Anmer Hall in Norfolk, as Prince George and Princess Charlotte were on a half-term break from their school at Thomas’s Battersea.
The outing kicks off a busy few days of public events for the royal family. Later in the day, Meghan and Prince Harry will join Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall at the Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey in London and Harry and Meghan will be reunited with William and Kate at the Remembrance Day services this weekend.
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