Prince William and Duchess Catherine paid tribute to the NHS on Sunday (05.07.20) with a visit to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn. Norfolk.

The royals celebrated the 72nd birthday of the NHS during the engagement, where they spoke to staff and volunteers and enjoyed afternoon tea with workers from across the hospital, which is located just 20 minutes away from their family home of Anmer Hall on the Royal Sandringham estate.

The couple shared a post about the visit on their Instagram page and wrote: ''Today we mark the 72nd birthday of the NHS, in a year when it was needed more than ever as the nation responds to COVID-19.

''Today, The Duke and Duchess visited the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn to thank staff for their efforts in helping their community.

''Whether you are existing staff, former staff members who came out of retirement, volunteers or key workers - we thank you for the resilience, perseverance and hope you've shown our nation.''

During the visit - which was their first post-lockdown engagement together - they told volunteers and staff: ''Everyone appreciates what you do. The NHS is a fantastic organisation.''

Queen Elizabeth Hospital will celebrate its own 40th anniversary on July 22, 2020 and Kensington Palace stated in a press release: ''The Queen Elizabeth Hospital has been caring for patients since 1980 and currently serves a population of around 331,000 people from across Norfolk, Cambridgeshire and Lincolnshire.''

Catherine and William, both 38, have previously personally thanked NHS workers for the ''incredible job'' they have been doing to battle coronavirus.

During the Covid-19 lockdown in April, the royal couple - who have Prince George, six, Princess Charlotte, five, and Prince Louis, two, together - spoke by phone with staff at Queen's Hospital Burton in Staffordshire and the University Hospital Monklands in North Lanarkshire to thank them for their hard work.

Speaking in a recording, posted on the Kensington Royal Instagram account, the Duke of Cambridge shared: ''We'd just like to say from the two of us how proud we are of all of you and how amazingly you are all doing under extreme circumstances. I know all of you will see this as your job and that you get on with it. But generally this is a different level and you guys are doing an incredible job. The whole country is proud of you, not just us, we really mean that, so thank you for everything you are doing and all the hours you are putting in.''