The Duchess of Cambridge has visited the Docklands Sailing and Watersports Centre.
The Duchess is a patron of the 1851 Trust, an organisation which encourages young people to experience sailing, understand career choices and opportunities in STEM and consider the environment.
The Trust was putting on an event as part of their roadshow at the Centre which uses the experiences of Sir Ben Ainslie’s British America’s Cup challenge to teach pupils about STEM subjects. The roadshow hopes to inspire a new generation of sailors, designers and engineers.
On her visit, she was joined by primary and secondary school pupils.
The Duchess helped pupils take part in a treasure hunt using QR codes that activated science question. She later watched them sail in the docks.
During a class on environmentalism, the Duchess was quizzed by a schoolboy on how many cars she had.
The question prompted laughter from the Duchess and an exclamation of “oh my goodness.” The Duchess replied she only had a Land Rover.
The year five schoolboy Rafi Ahmed said: “I said ‘how many cars do you have?’ She said she had a Land Rover.
“She asked me ‘what’s your favourite car?’ I said a Lamborghini. I felt like I was going to be famous.”
The Duchess also spoke to 10-year-old Katie Lam about sailing later in the day. The Duchess asked “Are you going out Later? Have you got sailing stuff with you?”
Katie later spoke of her awe at meeting the Duchess saying “She looked even better in real life than in photos.
“It was amazing to meet her.”
The Duchess also took part in an ocean plastics seabird activity, which aims to highlight the damage done to ocean life from common single-use plastics.
Later the Duchess spoke to Sir Ben Ainslie, the British Olympic sailing champion, via video link. The sailor is still in Bermuda after crashing out of the America’s Cup yachting race which is described as the F1 on the water. She said her and William were intensely watching the race on TV.
The Duchess said to Sir Ben Ainslie “Commiserations, obviously, but really well done. We’ve been watching with really keen interest.
“Both William and I have been glued to the telly. Well done to you guys. I gather now you’re on to the next thing.”
The Duchess and Sir Ben also spoke about how sailing can be used to teach children about the STEM subjects of science, technology, engineering and maths.
Sir Ben Ainslie who has won four gold Olympic medals then took questions from the kids.
Sir Ben praised the event and the Duchess saying “It’s fantastic to see the work the trust has been able to put together, it’s great to have your help with that.”