The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have surprised school children with a video call amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Prince William and Kate made the call to children at Casterton Primary Academy in Lancashire attending lessons despite schools being closed amid the health crisis, because their parents are key workers, such as supermarket staff and healthcare workers.

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The pair dropped in on a show-and-tell session, before later chatting to the teachers at the school.

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Anita Ghidotti, chief executive of Pendle Education Trust, said of their visit: "It was just absolutely fantastic. I can't believe they chose us, out of everyone in the country. Everyone feels very special. It has been a real boost."

Appearing via video link, the children showed the couple pictures of their parents and their Easter bonnets, which they had made ahead of the annual holiday this weekend.

As they modelled homemade bunny ears, 37-year-old William laughed: "I like your bunny ears, they look like the real deal – that's a strong look!"

The couple also told children they are "proud" of their parents.

When a 10-year-old boy named Harris said: "This is a picture of my mum and she works for the NHS as an admin for the health visitors and I'm really proud of her", William told him: "Well done you! Look at that, that's a great picture."

And Kate, 38, added: "You should be very proud of her, they're doing an amazing job, all the NHS workers, so well done."

During their chat with the teachers and staff at the school, Kate said it is "fantastic" to see them doing so much to help the children of key workers who are still going to work amid the virus outbreak.

She said: "To you and everyone who is in during this time, it must be such a relief for all the parents who are key workers to know their children have the normality and structure, and they've got a safe place.

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"So really, really well done and for all of you, I know it's not easy circumstances but it's fantastic."

Covid19.govt.nz: The Government's official Covid-19 advisory website