Kate Middleton and Prince William Visit Wales for First Time as Prince and Princess of Wales


Wales is welcoming its new Prince and Princess.

Kate Middleton and Prince William visited the country for the first time with their new titles on Tuesday to see some of the causes close to their hearts.

They began in Anglesey, in the northwest of Wales, where they lived together as newlyweds in 2010 and as new parents after the birth of Prince George while William worked as a search and rescue helicopter pilot with the Royal Air Force.

The couple headed to the RNLI Holyhead Lifeboat Station to meet crew members, volunteers and some of those who have been helped by their local unit.

The lifeboat station — which is just miles from where the couple once lived — has received 70 awards for gallantry as crews battle the often-stormy seas to help the stricken. It echoed Kate’s first official royal duty with William when she helped launch a new lifeboat on the island two months before they wed in 2011.

After the lifeboat station visit, the couple took a short walk to the Holyhead Marine and Café Bar to meet people from small businesses and organizations like the Coastguard and Sea Cadets.

RELATED: All About Kate Middleton and Prince William’s Special Connection to Wales

Prince William, Prince of Wales and Catherine, Princess of Wales at the RNLI Holyhead Lifeboat Station, in Holyhead, Wales
Prince William, Prince of Wales and Catherine, Princess of Wales at the RNLI Holyhead Lifeboat Station, in Holyhead, Wales

PA Images/INSTARimages.com Prince William and Kate Middleton visit Wales

In the afternoon, the royal couple headed south to the coastal city of Swansea to visit a redeveloped church that has been transformed into a thriving community hub that houses a food bank that supports over 200 people per week and Swansea Baby Basics, which distributes essential items for vulnerable mothers across the city. Kate has been involved with the baby bank network since the pandemic and previously helped sort and unload donation parcels for mothers and babies in need.

In 2020, Kate also brought together 19 British brands and retailers to donate over 10,000 new items to more than 40 baby banks nationwide, operated by Baby Basics, Little Village, and AberNecessities, and she has visited a number of baby banks including in London, Sheffield and West Norfolk, in England.

Welcoming William and Kate were a group of children from the Swansea 1st Eastside Boys Brigade and Girls’ Association.

Shortly before the couple arrived at St. Thomas’s Church, the church bells rang to the tune of “God Save the King” and several of the 300 well-wishers crammed along the narrow street sang along.

“It’s wonderful that Charles bestowed the title on them,” local Sarah East, 65, tells PEOPLE. “He was always known as William of Wales as a boy. They’re so well-suited to it as they’ve lived in Anglesey and know all about Wales.”

Catherine, Princess of Wales meets with members of the public following a visit the RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution) Holyhead Lifeboat Station in Anglesey
Catherine, Princess of Wales meets with members of the public following a visit the RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution) Holyhead Lifeboat Station in Anglesey

PAUL ELLIS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Pauline Bushrod, 80, who was also in the crowd, says: “It’s brilliant they’re here. Our future King and Queen. It could not be better that it’s them.”

Another local woman from nearby Neath, adds, “It’s an honor that the new Prince of Wales is coming here to this community when they’re still mourning Her Majesty.”

The former St. Thomas’s church also helps bring homeless people some much-needed food — homelessness is a cause close to William’s heart, and he used his 40th birthday in June to highlight it.

Britain's Catherine, Princess of Wales reacts during her visit to the RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution) Holyhead Lifeboat Station in Anglesey, north west Wales on September 27, 2022
Britain’s Catherine, Princess of Wales reacts during her visit to the RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution) Holyhead Lifeboat Station in Anglesey, north west Wales on September 27, 2022

PAUL ELLIS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images Prince William and Kate Middleton visit Wales

There is also a not-for-profit café, a community training kitchen and a surplus food distribution network, which collects food from supermarkets at the end of each day and distributes it to prevent food waste.

Prince William and Kate, both 40, were made Prince and Princess of Wales by King Charles III just one day after the Queen died “peacefully” at Balmoral in Scotland on Sept. 8. They went to Wales as soon as was practically possible — just a day after royal mourning period ended.

It was a particularly poignant visit. Those who know the couple have likened their time there in the early years of their marriage to the time the late Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip enjoyed in Malta.

Those close to William and Kate also say Wales has a special place in the couple’s hearts — rooted in their first home where they lived when Prince George was born and reflected in their decision to take George and Princess Charlotte to Cardiff during the weekend celebrating the late Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

Prince William, Prince of Wales and Catherine, Princess of Wales at the RNLI Holyhead Lifeboat Station, in Holyhead, Wales
Prince William, Prince of Wales and Catherine, Princess of Wales at the RNLI Holyhead Lifeboat Station, in Holyhead, Wales

PA Images/INSTARimages.com Prince William and Kate Middleton visit Wales

As Tuesday’s visits took place, any plans for a large-scale investiture like William’s father Charles had in July 1969 were far from their minds. The royal couple is more interested in continuing to deepen their bonds with the Welsh people and representing, and celebrating, the modern nation of Wales. They also plan to return to Wales before the end of the year.

Prince William, Prince of Wales and Catherine, Princess of Wales at the RNLI Holyhead Lifeboat Station, in Holyhead, Wales
Prince William, Prince of Wales and Catherine, Princess of Wales at the RNLI Holyhead Lifeboat Station, in Holyhead, Wales

PA Images/INSTARimages.com William and Kate visit Wales

The Prince and Princess of Wales last made an official visit to the country in June as part of Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee weekend, celebrating her historic 70 years on the throne. They visited Cardiff and were joined by two special guests: their eldest children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte.

The day was especially poignant for George, who is set to become the next Prince of Wales after his father. The visit mirrored Prince William’s first official trip to Wales when he was around the same age. In March 1991, Prince William joined his parents, Princess Diana and Charles, in Cardiff. The excited crowds handed the young prince daffodils — the Welsh national flower — as he went on a walkabout outside Llandaff Cathedral.

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