The Prince and Princess of Wales were back visiting their namesake region on Tuesday. On the eve of St David’s Day on March 1, the day the country celebrates its patron saint, Prince William and Kate made multiple stops in South Wales.
The couple not only visited local organisations but made a number of announcements across the day.
As newlyweds, the couple lived in Anglesey, Wales, where William worked as a RAF Valley search and rescue pilot before moving to Norfolk, where he was a pilot with the East Anglian Air Ambulance.
On Tuesday, those two worlds collided when Prince William was announced as the royal patron of the Wales Air Ambulance during a visit to the charity.
Delighted to become Patron of this wonderful charity today! @air_ambulance— The Prince and Princess of Wales (@KensingtonRoyal) February 28, 2023
Hynod o falch o ddod yn Noddwr yr elusen ardderchog hon heddiw! pic.twitter.com/EsYMLzyBN3
“The prince has first-hand experience of working in the unique and often challenging air ambulance environment,” Wales Air Ambulance Charity chief executive Sue Barnes said.
“His work, along with the princess, in highlighting the need for mental health support for frontline emergency workers is something that is appreciated and wholeheartedly supported by our charity.
“We look forward to our new relationship with the prince as our charity continues to support a lifesaving service for the people of Wales.”
During the visit, William and Kate met with emergency workers and discussed the importance of prioritising their mental health and other subjects.
The couple also spoke to volunteers and supporters to hear about the air ambulance’s operations across Wales since it was founded in 2001.
They also met with patients helped by the service and their families.
The Prince and Princess of Wales then formally opened a new patient and family room that will be used by the Wales Air Ambulance aftercare service.
It wasn’t the couple’s only announcement of the day.
The Royal Foundation earlier announced a new collaboration with social enterprise Life at No.27, which creates therapy allotments and gardens that provide mental health support for communities across South Wales.
The news was timed with a visit to where the first garden will be developed – at Brynawel Rehabilitation Centre, near the town of Pontyclun.
William and Kate were given a tour around the space by founder of the initiative Annabelle Padwick.
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Padwick showed them the collection of allotments, which will sit alongside a communal sensory and herbal garden, a mud kitchen and an interactive learning space.
The Princess of Wales even planted some seeds of her own – sweet William. It’s a popular ornamental garden plant, native to southern Europe and parts of Asia.
As she planted the seeds, Kate couldn’t help but giggle with her husband standing nearby.
“It’s an honour to have the support and partnership of The Royal Foundation of the Prince and Princess of Wales with Life at No.27,” Padwick said of the collaboration.
“As the founder I have seen first-hand how working with therapy gardens can dramatically improve self-belief and your own mental health.
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“Working with the Prince and Princess of Wales is so important as their support enables us to collaboratively raise awareness of the work we do, the growing vital need that we aim to meet and how much the experiences and relationships we have can shape our future.”
The project will form the second in a series of “community impact” pilots from The Royal Foundation, designed to “leave a lasting legacy in the communities” the prince and princess visit, the foundation said.
The couple’s third engagement of the day was a visit to Aberavon Leisure and Fitness Centre to meet local communities and hear about how sport and exercise can support mental health and wellbeing.
William and Kate were given a tour of the facilities, which include a 25-metre swimming pool with a moveable floor, and spoke to young professional athletes.
They also took part in a spin class, where they took each other on in a 45-second ’Tour de Aberavon’ sprint.