The Duke of Cambridge has become the first member of the Royal Family to address the coronavirus crisis that has swept across the world.

Coronavirus on Female First

Coronavirus on Female First

The 37-year-old prince said on Wednesday (18.03.20) that he "dreaded the day" when the National Emergencies Trust, which was launched last year, would be needed but is pleased that it is available to help those affected by the outbreak.

Speaking on behalf of The National Emergencies Trust, which is in partnership with the British Red Cross, William said: "I said at its launch last year that I dreaded the day when it would be needed. Sadly, with the outbreak of Covid-19, that day has come faster than any of us would have hoped.

"But now, more than ever, I am grateful that The National Emergencies Trust exists. It will ensure that support reaches those across the UK who need it most, as quickly and efficiently as possible. And it will help to ensure that all our efforts to overcome this challenge are channelled in the best possible way."

The virus, which originated from Wuhan, China, has already infected a confirmed 2,626 people, although it's estimated 35,000 to 50,000 people may have it, in the UK.

One hundred and four people, at time of writing, have died in the country from complications as a result of coronavirus, and it's believed that figure will rise.

William said: "Whenever and wherever adversity strikes, the people of the UK have a unique ability to pull together. The way that local communities support those affected shows the very best of our values and human nature. The public's desire to help in the wake of tragedy needs to be managed and channelled in the best possible way - which is why the establishment of National Emergencies Trust was so important."

Shortly after William's speech, his brother Prince Harry and his wife Duchess Meghan released their own statement on their official Instagram page.

It said: "These are uncertain times. And now, more than ever, we need each other. We need each other for truth, for support, and to feel less alone during a time that can honestly feel quite scary. There are so many around the world who need support right now, who are working tirelessly to respond to this crisis behind the scenes, on the frontline, or at home. Our willingness, as a people, to step up in the face of what we are all experiencing with COVID-19 is awe-inspiring. This moment is as true a testament there is to the human spirit.

"We often speak of compassion. All of our lives are in some way affected by this, uniting each of us globally. How we approach each other and our communities with empathy and kindness is indisputably important right now.

"Over the coming weeks, this will be our guiding principle. We will be sharing information and resources to help all of us navigate the uncertainty: from posting accurate information and facts from trusted experts, to learning about measures we can take to keep ourselves and our families healthy, to working with organisations that can support our mental and emotional well-being.

"In addition, we will focus on the inspiring stories of how so many of you around the world are connecting in ways big and small to lift all of us up. We are all in this together, and as a global community we can support each other through this process - and build a digital neighbourhood that feels safe for every one of us.

We look forward to sharing more over the days and weeks to come... (sic)"