“Who do you think Alfie, the therapy dog preferred?” their official Kensington Palace Twitter account wrote on Thursday, January 20, alongside snaps of the Duke of Cambridge, 39, and the Duchess of Cambridge, 40, taking turns holding the pooch.
In the snaps, Kate — who recently celebrated her milestone 40th birthday with a trio of stunning new portraits — wore a brown sweater dress and coordinating coat, which matched the sweet pup’s fur color. William, for his part, sported a burgundy sweater and a navy jacket during the outing.
The royal couple — who wed in April 2011 — made a surprise appearance at the Clitheroe Community Hospital in Lancashire, England, to visit with medical professionals who tirelessly worked across the rural community in response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
“Pressures across the local system have meant that teams here have felt the strain of the pandemic,” a post read on the pair’s official Instagram account on Thursday, alongside photos of the duo taking a tour of the facilities and meeting its nurses and doctors.
During the tour, Will and Kate — who have been strong advocates about mental health awareness through the years — learned how the NHS Charities have “provided invaluable mental wellbeing support to staff” by creating a staff wellbeing room and welcomed two therapy dogs: Jasper and Alfie.
The parents of three — they share Prince George, 8, Princess Charlotte, 6, and Prince Louis, 3 — welcomed a new dog in their family last year. Us Weekly confirmed in January 2021 that Kate’s brother, James Middleton, gave the royal family a puppy one year after their beloved pet Lupo had died.
“Very sadly last weekend our dear dog, Lupo, passed away,” William and Kate announced via Instagram in November 2020. “He has been at the heart of our family for the past nine years and we will miss him so much.”
The Ella & Co founder, 34, who gifted the late English Cocker Spaniel to his sister as a wedding present, also honored Lupo postmortem.
“Nothing can ever prepare you for the loss of a dog,” Middleton shared via Instagram at the time. “For those who have never had a dog, it might be hard to understand the loss. However for those who have loved a dog know the truth: a dog is not just a pet; it is a member of the family, a best friend, a loyal companion, a teacher and a therapist. … There isn’t much of a rule book on how to grieve for a dog, but I’ve said a prayer, lit a candle and taken Ella (Mum) for a long walk to spend time remembering Lupo. Rest in peace Lupo. Tilly & Mini will be waiting for you. You will always be remembered and your legacy will live on forever. Good Boy.”