Why the big decision Prince William just made is so important

The widely-discussed Prince William became an even bigger topic of discussion when in January 2020, his younger brother, Prince Harry, announced his decision to step down as a senior member of the royal family alongside his wife, Meghan Markle. Many headlines and conspiracies resulted from the split, including claims that the brothers are no longer on speaking terms.

Then, just as the drama appeared to have subsided, Prince William made an ill-conceived joke about the coronavirus pandemic. "By the way, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are spreading coronavirus, sorry,"  he quipped during a March 2020 trip to Ireland, according to CNN. "We're keeping an eye on that, so do tell us if we need to stop."

The Duke of Cambridge has since shifted his tone regarding the seriousness of the pandemic, thanking first responders and raising awareness about how this global crisis can take a toll on mental health. "If we are going to go forward with more time spent in lockdown, then there is going to be an ever-increasing need for people to look after their mental health and take it seriously and also know where to go to get the support they might need," Prince William said, per the BBC.

Following this public outreach, the royal made another decision in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and it might be the most important move he has made so far.

Prince William's reported choice will save lives

In an unprecedented move, Prince William has reportedly approved the use of a private lawn at Kensington Palace for refueling air ambulances, People reported on May 4, 2020. Allowing choppers to refuel at the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's London home will save time for paramedics, who previously had to fly helicopters from Kensington's Perks Field to the "nearest fueling base about 20 miles away in Watford," People noted.

Perks Field is where the royal family's helicopters land and take off, per the outlet.

Perhaps Prince William's generosity was inspired by his time as a helicopter pilot with the East Anglian Air Ambulance (EAAA), an organization he deeply values. "I have watched as incredibly skilled doctors and paramedics have saved people's lives," he said in 2017 after his last shift, via the royal family's website. "These experiences have instilled in me a profound respect for the men and women who serve in our emergency services, which I hope to continue to champion even as I leave the profession."

What's more? In March 2020, Prince William became a patron of London's Air Ambulance Charity, a fund that helps save the lives of "critically-injured people," per The Evening Standard.  The Duke of Cambridge called the organization an "essential part of the medical chain in London," the outlet noted.

Now that we've updated you on Prince William's response to the coronavirus, check out what Meghan Markle and Prince Harry had to say about the pandemic.