The Duchess of Cambridge teamed up with US First Lady Jill Biden for a joint engagement in Hayle, Cornwall today ahead of the G7 Summit.
Both women have made early childhood education and the early years core focus points of their public work, and so the pair visited the Connor Downs Academy in Hayle to meet with students in a Reception Class who are supported by an early years programme that teaches them independence, confidence and success for the future.
Before entering the school, the two met, with Catherine telling the First Lady: “It’s a huge honor to have you in the United Kingdom.”
While chatting with the students, Dr Biden quipped that they were a quiet bunch, but quickly joined in on lessons to sound out words, and then helped another group with Lego blocks. Kate, sat next to the First Lady, chatted with another group of students.
The pair helped feed the class’s rabbit, and then sat down for a roundtable discussion on the early years. After discussing education and ways to support young learners, Kate spoke about her new niece, Lili, revealing that they haven’t met or FaceTimed her yet, but that she hoped it would happen soon and said: “I wish her all the very best. I can’t wait to meet her.”
Dr Biden, who is a teacher and has kept her teaching job throughout her husband’s presidency, said that the early years are important for education, telling pool reporters that: “It’s very important to the foundation. As a teacher at the upper levels if they don’t have a good foundation they fall so far behind. This is amazing to see how far advanced they are.”
She added: “I met some wonderful teachers and principals and most of all the children, who were so inspiring and well behaved. I couldn’t get over it.”
Following their visit, the official Instagram account for William and Kate posted a photo of their meeting with the caption: “It was great to host Dr Jill Biden and experts from the UK and the United States for a discussion on the importance of early childhood on lifelong outcomes, and how we can work together to make a difference.
“The importance of providing support for parents and children alike during early childhood, and the positive impact that this can have across society, is something we share a great passion for.”
The account also teased a big announcement regarding Kate’s Early Years Programme next week, writing: “The Duchess is looking forward to sharing a major announcement about how she is working to elevate the importance of early childhood and continue the conversation on this vital issue.”
The Royal Family is in Cornwall this weekend to take part in events for the G7 Summit. The Queen, The Prince of Wales, The Duchess of Cornwall, and The Duke of Cambridge and Kate will carry out engagements as part of what has been branded a soft-power charm offensive.
The Royals will attend a reception with G7 leaders on Friday evening; and Prince Charles and Prince William will host another reception to talk about climate change and the environment. The Queen, the Duchess of Cornwall, and Kate will carry out a rare joint engagement in Cornwall as well.
The weekend will culminate with President Joe Biden and the First Lady meeting The Queen at Windsor Castle on Sunday. The Queen has met every American president—except President Johnson—since her reign began 69 years ago.
Royal Central will provide full coverage of all G7 events throughout the weekend.