Wales

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit steelworkers and lifeboat crew

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in Mumbles Image copyright Steve Parsons / PA Wire
Image caption The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited one of Wales' busiest lifeboats

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have been in south Wales visiting a lifeboat station and a steelworks.

The royal couple were greeted by hundreds of well wishers as they arrived at the RNLI's Mumbles lifeboat station overlooking Swansea Bay.

They boarded a lifeboat and chatted with crew members about their duties and difficulties they face at sea.

Prince William and Kate also watched the boat launch as part of a training exercise.

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Image caption Kate receives a floral tribute from three-year-old Theodore

They then headed to the Mumbles seafront to meet members of the public before visiting Joe's Ice Cream Parlour to talk to parents about the duchess's UK-wide survey to help improve early childhood.

Prince William asked Dominic Hughes, who co-owns the parlour with brother Adrian: "So what's so special about Joe's ice cream?" To which he replied: "It's the best ice cream around."

The couple tried some ice cream, with the duke revealing his personal favourite was chocolate.

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Image caption Kate was speaking to parents about a survey on early childhood which she launched on a previous visit to Wales

The duchess also met two of her prep school teachers who came down from Carmarthen and passed a note to a police officer.

She said: "It's such a small world," before reminiscing with Denise Evans-Allford and Kevin Allford about her days at St Andrew's prep school in Pangbourne, Berkshire.

The teachers had not seen the duchess since she was 14, when she visited her brother James at the school with her sister Pippa.

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Image caption The Duchess of Cambridge met her old teachers who had travelled from Carmarthen to see her
Image copyright Steve Parsons/PA Wire
Image caption The couple waved to waiting crowds

Kate told them: "I want to instil in my children the life I had at St Andrew's."

"It was wonderful she gave us so much time," Mr Allford, who taught French and German, said.

"Obviously we've been following her career. She was in a wonderful class of girls and they got on so well together."

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Image caption They met the lifeboat crew to talk to them about the challenges they face at sea

Nursery pupils from a local school met the couple, with three-year-old Theodore presenting the duchess with a bunch of flowers.

Mumbles lifeboat manager Tim Conway said it was an "absolute privilege" to welcome the duke and duchess to the station.

"I'm sure a highlight of the visit for them was seeing our all-weather lifeboat launch down the slipway," he said.

"It has been a fantastic morning and something which will stay with us all for a very long time."

The couple left Mumbles to visit Tata Steel in Port Talbot where they met workers and their families.

The couple joined a discussion between company directors and trade unions before meeting employees in the hot strip mill and its training academy.

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Media captionA history of royal visits to Wales

Their final stop was to the Bulldogs Development Centre in the town.

The boxing and fitness charity supports young people from disadvantaged backgrounds and those with mental health issues.

The visit coincides with Children's Mental Health Week, of which the duchess is patron.

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Image caption Prince William enjoys an ice cream while talking to parents

The Bulldogs' work is focused on improving physical and mental health and helping people achieve goals.

It has so far helped support more than 1,500 young people.

Samantha Fox, project co-ordinator at Bulldog Boxing, praised the royal couple for making the young members "feel really at ease" and said the gifts of boxing gloves and pads was "the most appropriate thing" to give them.

She added: "They were asking the young people about what they do here, asking what activities they take part in. They were really engaging, which is fantastic."

Club member Jasmine said: "She said it was nice coming to visit us. I told her: 'You should never give up, you should persevere', which is what they teach us here. You keep on trying and never give up."

The couple's visit comes nearly two weeks after the duchess visited Cardiff as part of a tour to launch her early childhood survey.

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Image caption Kate took part in a teamwork exercise holding sections of a pipe and steered a small orange ball from one end to the other

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