Prince William and Kate Middleton were seen smiling, laughing and joking as they visited Lancashire on Thursday. This was their second joint engagement over the course of a few days.

Despite their royal status, it was therapy dog Alfie who stole the show and melted their hearts.

The apricot cockapoo was funded through hospital charity ELHT&me using a grant from NHS Charities Together, which the Duke and Duchess are Royal Patrons of.

The couple visited Clitheroe Community Hospital, where they met with NHS staff and patients to learn about the challenges faced by rural health providers and to understand how NHS Charities Together is supporting the mental health of the frontline workforce.

So far, the charity has helped fund a staff well-being room as well as two therapy dogs — six-year-old Jasper and Alfie, who is brand new to the team.

They also visited Church on the Street, a charity run by Pastor Mick Fleming. The organisation was set up in 2019 to help the homeless and people living in poverty in Burnley and the surrounding areas. Speaking to a number of volunteers and staff, the couple heard about their motivations for working with Church on the Street.

Charity owner Pastor Mick is now in discussions with local authorities, external support agencies and the NHS with the aim of providing further support for people who are struggling with their mental health.

Image: Getty Images

This article first appeared on OverSixty.