On Thursday evening, as joint Patrons of NHS Charities Together, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are hosting NHS staff at a unique drive-in cinema to watch a special screening of Disney’s Cruella at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, in recognition of their vital work throughout the pandemic.

Guests attending this evening’s event came from across the NHS workforce in Scotland, and have been nominated by NHS Charities Together’s member charities and their associated Health Boards. They represent all parts of the NHS and are being recognised for their incredible efforts throughout the pandemic.

The Duke and Duchess arrived in a 1966 2A Land Rover which belonged to The Duke of Edinburgh and has been loaned to them for the evening by Her Majesty The Queen. The Land Rover parked alongside NHS staff in the forecourt of the Palace of Holyroodhouse and the royal couple met a number of guests ahead of the screening.

The Duchess delivered a short speech, during which she will pay tribute to NHS staff across Scotland and thank them for their dedication, commitment and personal sacrifice. She said: “Good evening everyone and welcome to this special screening of Disney’s Cruella – here at the Palace of Holyroodhouse.

“As Joint Patrons of NHS Charites Together, William and I are absolutely delighted that so many of you could join us here tonight. We wanted to thank you for the extraordinary dedication, commitment and personal sacrifice you have shown in supporting our communities through this pandemic. 

“It is a real privilege to work with ‘NHS Charities Together’.  For the last 13 years it has worked tirelessly to improve services for patients and support NHS staff and volunteers, both practically and emotionally.  Today, this work has never been more important.

“Over the last year or so, William and I have spoken to many NHS workers and have heard first-hand what it has been like to be on the front line fighting COVID-19; supporting those suffering from the disease as well as their families, and heroically putting the needs of others ahead of their own – day in, day out.  

“And tonight, we have so enjoyed speaking to so many of you.  You have all been chosen for going above and beyond over the last year – and to hear what you have been through is truly humbling.

“So, with an enormous thank you to Her Majesty The Queen for allowing us to host the first ever drive-in film night here at Holyrood.  And with a huge thank you to Disney and BAFTA, for putting on this evening, and to the fabulous actress Tipper for joining us here tonight, William and I invite you to grab your popcorn, cuddle up under your blankets and be transported to 1970s Britain for an evening of much-deserved fun, drama, glamour and escapism!

“We wish you a truly wonderful evening! 

“And, once again, our heartfelt thanks for all you are doing.”

On Monday evening The Duke and Duchess spoke to two of the stars of the film, Emma Thompson and Emma Stone, on a video call. They discussed what it was like to make the film in parts of London, the incredible costumes featured in it as well as the inspirational work done by NHS staff across the country and how important it is to thank them.

NHS Charities Together is the national charity partner of the NHS and is made up of 240 NHS charity members based in hospitals, mental health, ambulance, community health services and health boards across the UK. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were announced as Patrons of NHS Charities Together in December 2020.

Chief Executive of NHS Charities Together, Ellie Orton, said: “This special screening of Disney’s Cruella is such a wonderful gesture by our Royal Patrons The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. It will be a huge boost and thank you to those staff who have done everything they can to keep us safe and well over the last year. We’re delighted be part of this once in a lifetime memory for some of the amazing NHS staff in Scotland – it is because of their efforts that we are even in a position to enjoy events like this one.”