Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, attended a much-anticipated visit to Grimsby today for a full day of events.
Grimsby is a large fisherman’s town, home of one of the largest ports in the country. It also struggles economically, but clearly not in spirit! The small town was so excited for the Royal visit.
The Duchess was set to arrive at 11:30, but was delayed about 90 minutes. Due to the fog, her chopper could not safely fly or land in the area. Unfortunately, there was no Plan B. The local trains were experiencing some track issues and a car ride would take too long. As soon as it was safe, her chopper took off and landed at Humberside Airport just before 1 P.M.
Kate’s first stop was to tour a local exhibition on the town’s maritime and fishing heritage. She was greeted by hordes of onlookers, many of whom gifted the Duchess with flowers and even a stuffed teddy bear – perfect for her new nursery. She was given a special tour of the exhibit, in which the town places much pride. Fishing is often seen as one of the toughest jobs in the world. Despite her history with morning sickness, Kate braved the distinct fishy smell.
Grimsby is an economically downtrodden town, with one in three young people struggling to find a job. The Duchess hopes to inspire and encourage young people with her visit to pursue a greater lifestyle.
Kate greeted a group of senior citizens, definitely lifting their spirits. The ladies were so excited to make her acquaintance. One even remarked that she would make a lovely queen! Kate gracefully responded that it would be a long time before that happened”
After learning of the local history, Her Royal Highness visited the local Fire Squad. She toured the fire house, met with the volunteers, and even enjoyed her lunch there. The menu included sandwiches, a firemen favorite. When asked if she would like to slide down the pole, the Duchess retorted, “Don’t tempt me!”
The Duchess hopes to bring attention to the brave men and women working in the fire house. Often times, firemen and women rely on donations to carry on their daily activities. We hope the volunteers see this visit as a special treat for all the bravery and heroism they exhibit. There is a local charitable fund set up to support these men and women, available on their website.
While at the fire house, Kate met with local youngsters to discuss personal development. The young adults attend personal development courses, sponsered by Prince Charles’ charity, the Prince’s Trust, in order to provide a better lifestyle for future generations.
Her last engagement was at Havelock Academy. Establish in 2007, the school serves more than 1,000 students in one of the poorest areas of the country. Havelock’s mission statement is as follows:
– Academic excellence through a culture of inquiry
-high quality teaching and personalised support for learning
– high levels of pastoral care, family engagement and personal coaching
-experience of learning beyond the local community to improve intercultural understanding
-high levels of personal independence and enterprise through increased self-knowledge and self-esteem
appreciation of the importance of a healthy lifestyle
-opportunities to refine personal skills and talents
These seem in line with many of the Duchess’ hopes for future generations, including physical health, artistic development, and a better future for our youth.
At the academy, photography-loving Kate met with photography students to discuss the art. What a treat it must have been for those students! While there, she also remarked that she could feel the baby kicking, which was exciting for the world to hear.
Kate’s visit will surely be inspirational for the small, struggling town. With any luck, her visit will boost the local economy – even if only for a while. Based on her philanthropic pursuits, the Duchess’ outreach in the community will encourage a healthy and prosperous future.