The Earl and Countess of Strathearn, as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are known in Scotland, made their first official visit to Dundee on Friday. As most will recall, William and Catherine first met while students nearby at the University of St Andrews.
The majority of the visit focussed on the mental wellbeing of young people, a major priority for The Earl and Countess. During Friday’s visit, William commented about the nation’s attitude to mental health, stating it was “sad” that “society does not seem to listen enough” to those with problems.
The Earl and Countess of Strathearn’s first engagement of the day had them visit the Dundee Rep. Theatre where they met families participating in one of the theatre’s regular Family Fun Day programmes. The royal couple took some time to chat with the cast and crew of In Her Shadows, a visual performance that explores a young woman’s relationship with the complexity of her depression whilst challenging the stigmas that surround it.
During their time at the Theatre, William and Catherine met with young people participating in a workshop with See Me, a group working to end mental health discrimination in Scotland. The group is using their experiences of mental health conditions to lead change in the way people their age perceive mental health. During a group session, Catherine commented: “Having you guys leading the way with the mental health piece is fantastic.”
Someone from the crowd asked about William and his motorbike to which Kate replied: “He’s still riding it. It always fills me with horror when he goes out on it – I’m terrified. Hopefully, I’m going to keep George off it.”
Following their time at the Dundee Rep. Theatre, The Earl and Countess of Strathearn paid a visit to The Corner and participated in an anti-bullying workshop.
The Corner, funded in partnership with Dundee City Council and NHS Tayside, offers a variety of physical and mental health services for young people, many of them peer-led. The workshop The Earl and Countess attended was facilitated by Scotland’s anti-bullying service, RespectMe.
William recently took part in an anti-bullying workshop in London with The Diana Award, a young person’s charity established in the memory of his late mother Diana, Princess of Wales.
The Diana Award is a lasting legacy to Diana, Princess of Wales’s belief that young people have the power to change the world for the better. The Diana Award identifies and develops young people before engaging them in social action. The charity has the support of Prince William and Prince Harry as well as their team at the Royal Charities Forum of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry.
Continuing their busy day, William and his wife met a group of leaders in the Scottish Mental Health sector at a meeting organised by Young Scotland In Mind.
YSIM is a forum for voluntary sector organisations that tries to promote mental health and wellbeing of all children and young people in Scotland. The meeting was held at The Shore, an events venue catering for 10-18-year-olds in Dundee.
William, Kate and Prince Harry, are making the mental health of young people a key focus of their official and charitable work.
William and Kate visited the original Royal Research Ship Discovery. Discovery carried Scott and Shackleton on their first expedition to the Antarctic. The couple took a brief tour of the ship learning its history and significance as it was built in Dundee and is an important piece of the cities history.
On Monday, William met and sent off Henry Worsley a brave adventurer aspiring to become the first solo explorer to cross the Antarctic without assistance or support as he follows in the steps of Sir Ernest Shackleton. The royal father of two is Patron of Worsley’s 2015/16 Shackleton Solo Challenge.
The final engagement of this busy royal day saw William and Catherine visit University to meet the winners of a UK-wide BAFTA game design competition for ten to eighteen-year-olds.
BAFTA YGD, in association with Nominet Trust, aims to inspire young people to consider a career in games creation. The young designers are producing their games further with professional games studios in Dundee.
The royal couple met other talented individuals who have benefitted from various BAFTA initiatives.
Abertay University is home to the Scottish Centre for Excellence in Computer Games Education.
Dundee itself is a leading international centre for video game production and has played a role in the creation of some the world’s most popular titles.
Next week The Duchess of Cambridge will attend a dinner in support of The Art Room at the Victoria and Albert Museum as well as visit Chance UK at Islington Town Hall. Catherine is Patron, 100 Women in Hedge Funds’ Philanthropic Initiatives and The Art Room
Photo Credits: Victoria Murphy @QueenVicMirror