Kate Middleton has been volunteering during the pandemic calling an 85-year-old named Len Gardner. The Duchess of Cambridge and Len, who is a full-time caregiver to his wife with Alzheimer’s, were connected earlier this year by the Royal Voluntary Service, according to The Sun. Kate first called the pensioner back in May while she and her family were in lockdown at their country home, Anmer Hall in Norfolk. “I was flabbergasted when I found out who would be calling. The first question I asked was, ‘How do I address you?’ She said, ‘Call me Catherine,’” Len recalled to The Sun. “After the first two sentences I didn’t feel like I was talking to someone so important.”
He added, “For 30 minutes, Len and Catherine had a wonderful conversation. She told me Prince George and Princess Charlotte were playing in the garden and she was keeping an eye on them through the window.”
The pair also discussed Len’s love for Italian food. Kate ended up sending him a pasta machine and flour after Len told the Duchess that he didn’t make his own pasta. “I can tell you, this lady you see on television that goes into the crowds and talks to people — what you see is what you get. She is a very, very nice person,” Len said.
About a month after their initial call, the royal mom of three phoned Len again. “We spoke for about 40 minutes and I learned more about the Duchess’s children,” he shared. “The Duke and Duchess are a brilliant couple for doing this kind of thing. They really seem to want to reach out to people.”
Len admitted to The Sun that meeting the royal couple in-person was his top “bucket list” wish. Well, that wish came true on Monday. Kate and Prince William met Len in Batley during the third stop on their royal train tour. The Duke and Duchess spoke with Len at the Batley Community Centre and later met his wife Shirley. Sharing a video of the Cambridges with Len, Kensington Palace wrote, “A first meeting in person for The Duchess of Cambridge and Len Gardner, who The Duchess has spoken to previously as part of the NHS Volunteer Responder ‘Check in and Chat’ scheme.”
William and Kate embarked on their three-day royal train tour on Sunday to pay tribute to the inspiring work of those who have gone above and beyond to support communities across England, Scotland, and Wales.