Prime Minister 'Delighted' with Prince William and Kate Middleton U.K. Tour After Criticism

Boris Johnson has backed Prince William and Kate Middleton's Royal Train tour of Britain as a "welcome morale boost"—after criticism in Scotland and Wales.

The Prime Minister is "delighted" with the welcome the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge received on stops across the U.K, his spokesman said.

The comments came after political correspondents took to Twitter to say Downing Street had repeatedly refused to endorse the trip in a press briefing.

Quoted in The Independent, the Prime Minister's spokesperson said: "The PM is delighted to see the warm reception the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have received on their hugely valuable train tour of England, Scotland and Wales.

Kate Middleton and Prince William, Cardiff Castle
Prince William and Kate Middleton visit Cardiff Castle to meet local university students on December 08, 2020 in Cardiff, Wales. The tour has been criticised for undermining COVID travel rules. Jonathan Buckmaster - Pool/Getty

"The tour will be a welcome morale boost to frontline workers who have done so much during the pandemic."

Vaughan Gething, the Welsh Health Minister, this morning questioned whether the tour undermined advice against unnecessary travel.

He told BBC Radio 4: "I'd rather that no-one was having unnecessary visits, and people always have divisive views about the monarchy.

"But their visit isn't an excuse for people to say that they are confused about what they are being asked to do."

And yesterday Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon refused to say whether the trip across national borders with the U.K. was legal following criticism.

Quoted in Herald Scotland, she said: "The Royal visit is a matter for the Royal household and the arrangements around it, and any questions about those arrangements, should be directed to the Royal household.

"The Scottish Government was advised about the intention to visit, and we made sure that the Royal Household were aware, as you would expect, of the restrictions in place in Scotland so that could inform both the decision and the planning of the visit.

"Any more questions on that should be directed to the Royal household."

Journalists then asked Johnson's spokesman whether he would lend his support to the royal couple after a difficult two days.

Downing Street has repeatedly refused to endorse the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's decision to go on a tour of the country during Coronavirus restrictions.

— Chris Mason (@ChrisMasonBBC) December 8, 2020

BBC political correspondent Chris Mason wrote on Twitter: "Downing Street has repeatedly refused to endorse the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's decision to go on a tour of the country during Coronavirus restrictions.

"Asked what the government made of the tour, the Prime Minister's Official Spokesman said 'that's a matter for the palace,' adding 'we have set out clearly the tiers and the advice we are asking the public to abide by.'

"He refused to answer when asked if the Palace had sought guidance from No10 before the trip."

It was only after the repeated refusals that Downing Street released the follow up statement endorsing the tour.

A royal source had earlier told Newsweek: "The whole visit has been meeting people and thanking them for their work throughout the pandemic and the visits were planned in consultation with the U.K., Scottish and Welsh governments."

The debacle comes as anti-monarchy campaign group Republic told Newsweek the trip was a waste of money, with past Royal Train journeys to Scotland costing around $30,000 in public money for travel alone.