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A day in Cumbria: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge shear sheep and learn about farming challenges

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge spent the day yesterday in Cumbria, visiting the farming communities in a bid to “celebrate the resilience and spirit of rural and farming communities in the region.”

The couple arrived at Keswick Town Centre to greet the crowds who’d come out to see them, chatting with them about their love of the Lake District and the outdoors.

“She said that her children love coming here and walking in the fells,” a youngster named Jack Mumberson told the Daily Mail about his chat with Kate.

“She told us how nice the Lake District was and how lucky we were to live so close to the mountains.”

Kate also revealed that Princess Charlotte is looking forward to attending school in the fall to one mom and that she’d tried to plait Charlotte’s hair that morning, but it didn’t turn out well, to the young girls who presented her with bouquets.

“She was very friendly,” said Helen Jones, per the Daily Mail.

The Duchess of Cambridge revealed that she’d brought her children to the Lake District during Prince George’s half-term, and that “it was raining a lot and was a long way from their home in Norfolk, but they love it here,” according to another person in the crowd.

Their visit to Keswick was billed as a way to meet volunteers from the local mountain rescue service, community first responders, and mental health first aiders, who have received grants from the Cumbria Community Foundation.


Ahead of their visit, Andy Beeforth, the Chief Executive of the Cumbria Community Foundation said in a media release that “some of the most selfless people from communities around Cumbria” would be on hand to greet Their Royal Highnesses.

“One thing that makes us different to other places is the way that people look at an issue, have an idea and set about fixing it. Our role at the Community Foundation is to bring people together who want to help Cumbrian communities make a real difference…so, on Tuesday, we have representatives from a number of voluntary groups who have had financial support from Cumbria Community Foundation, but who would not exist without the efforts of their volunteers.”

He continued, “For the past 20 years we have supported people in their communities to make lasting change. I am grateful to have the opportunity to shine a light on some of those by introducing some really remarkable Cumbrians to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.”

Richard Smith, a member of the Keswick Mountain Rescue Team, said that he spoke with William about his time as an air search and rescue pilot in North Wales and that William revealed “fond memories of the mountains” to him.

Smith then invited the Duke to open the new rescue base when it opens.

The Duchess chatted with teenagers who work with the We Will mental health campaign and how they receive support.

“You can see it is a subject she is very passionate about,” Billy Robinson told the Daily Mail.

“She was asking us about the support for young people in the area and what young people are talking about. It has always been a big issue in school.”

William and Kate then travelled to the Deepdale Hall Farm in Patterdale, a traditional fell sheep farm, to meet members of the Cumbrian farming community and learn about the challenges and issues facing farmers in the region.

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Upon arrival, Their Royal Highnesses met two young sisters who presented them with flowers. Though they were shy, they were delighted at the chance to meet a real-life princess.

“It’s a princess. You love princesses!” their dad said. He then told Kate that one of his daughters “wanted to know if you’d be wearing your Princess Elsa dress,” referencing the iconic blue dress worn by the Disney Princess from Frozen.

Kate took it in stride and told the girls that “I came in my trousers and my coat because I’m going to see some sheep.”

The couple helped with sheep shearing (William joked that the sheep he helped shear is “not going to be happy with her haircut”) and repaired a dry-stone wall, and met with farmers to talk about the issues they face.

The Duke of Cambridge asked the farmers about Brexit and how it has affected their trade, and one replied that “the worst-case scenario post-Brexit is absolutely dire.”

Another farmer said, “It’s a bit of a concern. I wouldn’t want to be the last generation after 500 years,” of operating the family farm.

“The conversation was really good and they were really interested. I was impressed,” Danny Teasdale told the Telegraph. Teasdale owns a community interest company in Glenridding.

“They were really keen to know what was going on and we told them there were a lot of positive aspects of farming that don’t get brought up. William did want to know how people felt about Brexit,” Teasdale said.


Prince William though was careful not to reveal his own opinions on Brexit.

Their day ended with a nature walk at Side Farm, to meet with schoolchildren from Patterdale Primary School and Cumbria Wildlife Trust volunteers.

About author

Jess is a communications professional and freelance writer who lives in Halifax and has a passion for all things royal, particularly the British Royal Family.