Wednesday was a busy day for The Duke of Cambridge. Before attending the Tusk Conservation Awards in the evening, he had three engagements in Derby. This was his first visit to the city.
He first visited Bombardier Rail Factory, a company which manufactures planes and trains. It’s currently producing trains for the Queen Elizabeth line, which runs through the southern part of Great Britain.
Whilst there, the Duke observed the manufacturing and assembly lines where the Elizabeth Line trains are constructed. He also met current and former apprentices, many who are local, apprenticing in manufacturing, painting and welding. During the course of the Elizabeth Line contract, Bombardier Rail will mentor over 300 apprentices, 80 of whom are local to the area.
The Duke unveiled a plaque to commemorate his visit to the factory. He also was allowed a glimpse inside a newly-constructed Elizabeth Line train. After receiving a brief lesson, he was allowed to drive the conveyance.
Next stop for him in Derby was the Rolls-Royce factory. After arriving, the Duke was given a tour of the assembly lines where, according to the company, the world’s most efficient engine is built — the Trent XWB. He also met apprentices, engineers, and employees at the training facility in the Derby centre.
The Duke was presented with a special gift from Rolls-Royce apprentice, Megan Dennison. The 21-year-old gave him a Gnome engine turbine blade so he might remember his visit to Rolls-Royce.
Andrew Smyth, a Rolls-Royce engineer, and most notably known for winning the latest season of British Bake Off presented the Duke with a special cake he created specifically for this event. After revealing the cake, the Duke said: “That’s amazing, you should have won.”
Like the Bombardier Rail Factory, Rolls-Royce supports apprentices and locals; they work with over 600 in the United kingdom. They also employ over 14,000 people from derby.
Colin Smith, President of Rolls-Royce told Kensington Palace: “It was a pleasure to introduce The Duke to our highly skilled workforce who assemble the engines.”
For his final stop in Derby, The Duke went to the Padley Centre, a charity that assists vulnerable members of the community. It was founded in 1985 with the specific purpose of help deliver services to those with mental health issues like alcohol or drug addiction and homelessness. Whilst there, he participated in an arts and crafts session with some of the charity’s clients, making rainmakers.