The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge spent the day in South Wales on Tuesday, visiting local businesses and organisations in The Mumbles and Port Talbot.Embed from Getty Images
Their first engagement, a visit to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution Mumbles Lifeboat Station, included a tour of one of the busiest stations in Wales, and a chat with volunteer crew members about the intricacies of their job.
William and Kate were also able to tour the all-weather Tamar class lifeboat, watched a lifeboat launch for a training exercise, and presented a long-service award to James Bolter, a volunteer for over 20 years. Before they left, they also met with the ladies fundraising guild to hear about how they raise money for the RNLI Mumbles Lifeboat Station and saw the souvenir shop.Embed from Getty Images
“It was an absolute privilege to welcome The Duke and Duchess to The Mumbles RNLI Lifeboat Station,” said its Operations Manager, Tim Conway, in a statement on the RNLI website.
“We were able to show them the roles of all our volunteers who make a valuable contribution to saving lives at sea. I’m sure a highlight of the visit for them was seeing our all-weather lifeboat launch down the slipway. It has been a fantastic morning and something which will stay with us all for a very long time.”
The Mumbles RNLI Lifeboat Station has been in operation since 1863 and operates 24-hours a day.
Their Royal Highnesses were in for a treat, literally, at their next engagement: a visit to Joe’s Ice Cream Parlour to chat with parents and carers and for Kate to talk about her 5 Big Questions survey, which will help inform her Early Years Programme. The couple also undertook a walkabout to greet the crowds along the waterfront.Embed from Getty Images
In Joe’s Ice Cream, the royal couple met with owners Dominic and Adrian Hughes, and William confessed that he was a chocolate man after he ordered a vanilla cone with chocolate sprinkles. Kate ordered her ice cream in a dish and had it covered in flakes.Embed from Getty Images
Outside, she ran into some familiar faces: her old teachers at St. Andrew’s School. She told Denise Evans-Allford and Kevin Allford that she wanted to “instil in my children what I learned at St. Andrew’s.”
Afterwards, Evans-Allford told reporters that the Duchess hadn’t changed, and that “you can tell Pippa and James are wonderful, too. I’ve been waiting 20 years for this.”
Allford said, “Obviously we’ve been following her career. She was in a wonderful class of girls and they got on so well together.”
The Cambridges then travelled to Port Talbot, where their first engagement in the town was a visit to Tata Steel. The royals met with workers there, which employs over 4,000 jobs to local community members, and viewed the “integrated steelmaking site in order to learn more about the importance of Tata Steel’s operations to the UK economy and the important role the company plays in the local community,” per the Tata Steel website.Embed from Getty Images
According to the Royal Family website, William and Kate then “joined a discussion with company directors and trade unions before spending time with workers in the plant’s Hot Strip Mill, and in its Training Academy.”
Finally, the Duke and Duchess visited the Bulldog Development Centre for an engagement in support of Children’s Mental Health Week. The Centre, which is a partnership between Bulldogs Boxing & Community Activities and Port Talbot Amateur Boxing, supports young people with their mental health through boxing and fitness lessons, and has helped over 1,500 young people.
The royals met with volunteers, organisers, and young people at the Centre before joining in some activities. They also had a young tour guide, a little girl named Brooke, who was so excited to meet Kate that she insisted on guiding her around the Centre despite the adults in the room who were on hand for that very reason.
Speaking to the Daily Mail afterwards, Samantha Fox, a Project Manager at the Bulldogs Boxing & Community Activities said, “She took the Duchess to see where she does colouring and pointed out the outside space we have. She did a great job at it.”Embed from Getty Images
Of Kate, Fox said, “She engaged so well with them. One of our young people hadn’t been out of the family home for three years before coming here and taking part. There are a lot of people with anxiety but they made them feel relaxed and so at ease.”
One of the boxing coaches said that William was engaged with the boys and wanted to hear more about how boxing has helped them with their mental health.
“Some were saying it has helped channel their aggression. Some of them come from challenging backgrounds and this has also helped them improve at school,” said Simon Warren.