Prince William’s quick reaction to help a fallen courtier has become the subject of a new viral video, after footage from a royal engagement in 2016 resurfaced on TikTok.
William has seen his public profile increase over the past 12-months, following the death of Queen Elizabeth II and his elevation to the title of Prince of Wales. Together with wife, Kate, the prince has undertaken an increased number of public engagements, from high-profile events such as the London coronation of King Charles III in May to regular charity visits around the U.K.
Many of these appearances have been highlighted by royal fans, with moments of the couple caught on camera going viral on social-media platforms.
Uploaded to TikTok, by user @star2810.mt, on August 18, a resurfaced clip of a courtier falling to the ground during a visit by William and Kate to the town of Harlow in Essex, England, has been viewed over 120,000 times so far.
In the clip, former Vice Lord Lieutenant of Essex Jonathan Douglas-Hughes fell to the ground in front of William and Kate, having stepped backwards onto a traffic bollard.
A Lord Lieutenant is a courtier who is appointed to act as the monarch’s representative in regional areas around Britain. When a member of the royal family attends an official engagement, the Lord Lieutenant traditionally greets them and acts as an escort. When they are sick, absent or otherwise unable to attend an event, the Vice Lord Lieutenant fills in for them.
In the viral clip, when Douglas-Hughes fell, William is seen quickly offering his help to bring the courtier to his feet again, as Kate watched on.
Captioned “Prince William helps elderly dignitary who falls to the ground,” the video has received almost 4,000 likes on the social-media platform, and numerous comments, many of which have praised the royal.
“Our future is good,” wrote one TikTok user. “William will make a great king.”
“He’s so down to earth,” posted another, while a further comment noted that it was purely an example of human kindness: “This is what any good citizen would do.”
William and Kate were in Essex to visit the Stewards Academy, a school that was linked with the couple’s Heads Together mental-health campaign.
Both the prince and princess have been passionate advocates for mental-health initiatives throughout the course of their 12-year marriage. For Kate, this has informed her work with early years childhood development, and for William, it has been linked to his with addiction and homelessness.
In 2023, the couple each launched major projects connected with their individual initiatives. In January, Kate launched the “Shaping Us” awareness campaign on the importance of early years development through the Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood. In June, William launched his ambitious “Homewards” scheme, with the aim to end homelessness in Britain.
James Crawford-Smith is Newsweek’s royal reporter based in London. You can find him on Twitter at @jrcrawfordsmith and read his stories on Newsweek’s .
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