North West Wales

Royal baby: Anglesey home to William and Kate celebrates

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Media captionAnglesey has been home for William and Kate since their 2011 wedding

RAF colleagues of Prince William on Anglesey have filmed messages of congratulations to the royal couple on the birth of their first child.

They were just some of the messages from the island to the Duchess of Cambridge and the Duke, who has been a search and rescue helicopter pilot at RAF Valley since 2010.

The island has been the first home for William and Kate since their 2011 wedding.

Far from remaining hidden away in a rural retreat, the couple have popped up in unlikely locations for a future king and queen.

The Duchess of Cambridge has regularly been spotted shopping in a Menai Bridge supermarket, walking the aisles with a shopping basket in hand.

Image caption One Anglesey supermarket has set aside a special parking place for the royal couple - and their baby

Another supermarket chain at Llangefni is also said to be frequented by her - and the store now boasts a reserve a space for the royals in their car park.

The supermarket created its own "royal parent and child" parking space in the days before the birth, with the words "HRH reserved" emblazoned across the prime spot.

"The Duchess of Cambridge has graced the store with her regal presence several times before. We hope that the addition of her own parking space will entice her back," said the Asda store manager, Peter Ellis.

Both the duke and duchess have also been seen out and about at island restaurants and pubs, venues like the White Eagles at Rhoscolyn near Trearddur Bay.

Perhaps that is less of a surprise, as Trearddur Bay's RNLI lifeboat was given its inaugural launch by the duchess back in 2011 - her first official visit after her engagement to Prince William was announced.

"I do the talking, she does the fun bit," remarked the prince as she cracked open a bottle of champagne over the new inshore boat.

But it also gave an insight into how the duchess was already winning hearts and minds, when she was warmly praised for the way she had learned to sing the Welsh national anthem, Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau.

Image caption The duchess is an active volunteer for the Scout Association

And it is not just the hearts and minds of the older residents on the island - it is the younger ones too, as Kate enthusiastically took on a volunteer role in the Scout Association.

For some lucky young cubs - that has meant invitations to join the former Brownie on the island for campfires and barbecues.

John Muston, the former area commissioner for the Scout Association in Snowdonia and Anglesey, said after her role was revealed that it was "great that the duchess can find time in her busy schedule to help scouting".

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Media captionAnglesey resident Heather Abbott says she hopes Prince William and Duchess of Cambridge can make the island a permanent home with her baby son - and give him a Welsh name.

Prince William has also won plaudits across the island and further afield for his role as a rescue pilot at 22 Squadron at RAF Valley.

He has now flown countless missions over mountains and sea, coming to the aid of fallen climbers and injured seamen.

It has also meant that the island has seen more than its fair share of royal visitors in recent years, including the Queen, and William's father, Prince Charles.

Image caption Flt Lt Wales has gone on the record as saying there is 'no greater feeling' than helping rescue someone in need

Not surprisingly, a report into tourism on Anglesey last year highlighted the economic lift the royal couple had helped deliver, as the heightened coverage of the area saw an increase in the number of visitors.

However, while the congratulations continue to pour in for the duke and duchess, some of the island residents are already wondering whether the couple's time on Anglesey is drawing to a close.

There has been mounting speculation in recent months that Flt Lt Wales is ready to move on from RAF Valley when his official tour of duty comes to an end, while others in the press have made much of possible new homes for the couple, including at Anmer Hall on the Queen's Sandringham Estate.

But before and if that happens, there is one more question on the lips of the Anglesey locals: Will the new baby be visiting the island any time soon?

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