The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have concluded their two-day tour of Northern Ireland with a day of engagements in Ballymena.
William and Kate began with a private meeting with officers and staff of the Police Service in Northern Ireland at Hillsborough Castle.
“It was lovely that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge had asked to meet the police officers to get an understanding of the pressures that they’re under, of what we’re doing from an occupational health and wellbeing perspective to support them,” said PSNI Chief Constable George Hamilton in a video message posted on Twitter after the meeting.
‘Police officers apppreciated the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge taking time out today to listen to the challenges they face’ said @ChiefConPSNI following their meeting this morning at Hillsborough Castle @HRP_palaces @KensingtonRoyal @PoliceServiceNI #RoyalVisitNI pic.twitter.com/Otyh7yX1Qu
— Northern Ireland Office (@NIOgov) February 28, 2019
He added “they were really interested in the pressures and the stresses of policing in Northern Ireland and I think the staff certainly appreciate the opportunity to speak to Their Royal Highnesses.”
Following that meeting, William and Kate undertook a walkabout in Ballymena to meet with some of the hundreds of people who’d gathered to see them. The royal couple chatted with schoolchildren, including a little girl writing a biography about Kate and a five-month-old baby with his parents that the Duchess admitted was making her “broody” for a fourth child of her own.
Afterwards, William and Kate headed inside the Braid Arts Centre to view the work of the Cinemagic charity, which uses “film, television and digital technologies to engage with over 500,000 young people,” according to the Royal Family’s website.
There, the couple took part in several workshops with young people who use the facilities, including editing, camera work and special effects make-up design.
William and Kate also met with alumni, outreach groups and the cast and crew of Grace and Goliath, the second feature Cinemagic produced. Before they left, they saw a stage adaptation of a short film called ‘A Stone’s Throw.’
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) February 28, 2019
Kate helped braid a young girl’s hair during the special effects make-up design workshop while William attended a storyboard workshop with students from Malvern Primary School.
The Duke and Duchess wrapped up their visit to Northern Ireland at SureStart, a programme that supports parents with children under four who live in disadvantaged areas in Northern Ireland. SureStart is facilitated by Action for Children, one of Kate’s patronages, and is funded by the Northern Ireland Department of Education.
William joined in a session called Fathers Reading Every Day which encourages dads to be active reading participants in their children’s lives while Kate joined a Stay and Play session on gardening activities with children.
William also helped a little girl named Aurora Jennings as she tackled some craft activities and her father Michael told The Belfast Telegraph that William was very down to earth and that they’d talked about how every parent has their own parenting style.
“He gave Aurora a handshake and she got a high-five from the Duchess,” Jennings said. “She was over the moon that she got to meet a princess.”
Jennifer Campbell, Sure Start’s manager, said that, “It went as well as we hoped it would do. The Duke and Duchess were very engaged, there were fantastic interactions between our guests and the families, a great celebration of what we do here at SureStart.
“A key part of all their conversations today was about being parents, about the parenting journey and the support we all need on that parenting journey.”
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge had arrived in Northern Ireland on February 27th 2019 when they visited Belfast and County Fermanagh.