Speaking to Professor Andy Pollard (of Paediatric Infection and Immunity), Professor Sarah Gilbert (of Vaccinology) and Professor Louise Richardson (the Vice Chancellor), William applauded their work, stating, “well done, I’m so pleased for all of you, I really am.”
The 38-year-old continued, “I saw it in everyone’s faces back in June how much time and effort was going into this, and I could see that there was a lot of pressure on everyone, so I’m thrilled that you’ve cracked it – so really well done.”
It’s no secret that William has been invested in the vaccine’s development. In June, the Duke visited the University of Oxford’s Vaccine group to meet with scientists and learn more about their work to establish a viable treatment for the virus.
While public about his interest in the vaccine’s development, the Prince was reportedly less willing to share his diagnosis back in April, allegedly recovering in the privacy of his family home, Ammer Hall, in Norfolk.
The Sun revealed that William allegedly chose to withhold his diagnosis so he would not alarm the British people.
“There were important things going on and I didn’t want to worry anyone,” the Duke reportedly told an observer at an engagement following his alleged recovery.
Though, unlike the vaccination breakthrough, this decision was not met with commendation.
Royal author, Robert Jobson, denounced the Prince’s secrecy as “poor judgement”.
“Prince William’s decision to LIE about contracting COVID-19 earlier – for whatever reason – is appalling” the author wrote on Twitter.
“If the palace is prepared to LIE about an issue as serious as Prince William, second in line to the throne, contracting COVID-19 what else have hey LIED about when questioned by the press and why should the media believe any denials going forward? This raises serious issues.”
Despite this backlash, the Duke's efforts to learn about a cure for the virus is bound to bring him back in the public favour.