Kate Middleton and Prince William have accomplished yet another royal first.
On Thursday, William, 40, and Kate, 41, immersed themselves in Cornwall’s maritime heritage, marking the couple’s first official joint visit to the region since becoming Duke and Duchess of Cornwall following the death of Queen Elizabeth II in September.
The titles are one of several royal titles that the couple, now known as the Prince and Princess of Wales, have. Prince William and Kate also retain their titles as Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, which Queen Elizabeth bestowed upon them on their wedding day in 2011, as well as titles for Scotland (Streathern) and Northern Ireland (Baron and Baroness Carrickfergus).
The Prince and Princess began their visit at the National Maritime Museum Cornwall in Falmouth, where they were briefed on the rich maritime history of England’s southwestern tip before being shown a poignant project in the workshop. Locals are restoring the Kiwi, a 14-foot sailing dinghy given to the late Queen and her husband, Prince Philip, as a wedding gift from the Royal New Zealand Navy.
The couple contributed to the project before Prince William remarked, “We were never here if she sinks up here, okay? You never noticed us, “according to a video shared by Daily Express reporter Richard Palmer on Twitter.
Prince William and Kate also spoke with a group of people involved in the “Young and Talented Cornwall” project, which provides financial assistance to help people from all over Cornwall reach their full potential, regardless of their financial means or background. In the last decade, the fund has distributed approximately $500,000 to approximately 275 individuals, including future Olympic medalists, international rugby players, and musicians now playing in major orchestras.
The royal couple then watched students from a nearby school compete in a model boat race.
Outside the museum, Prince William and Princess Kate greeted visitors, shaking hands and posing for selfies with visitors.
The Dracaena Centre was their second stop of the day, where they learned about the support and services that the organization provides to local residents, with the goal of creating a healthy, happy, and mutually supportive society.
Kate performed a lively rendition of “The Hokey Pokey” after hearing about how The Dracaena Centre has supported parents and promoted their children’s development through play and creativity.
The couple also demonstrated their competitive natures by competing in a doubles ping pong match.
The Duchy of Cornwall also serves another purpose for William and his family: the estate, which owns property, farmland, and other assets, provides an income for him as heir to the throne and pays for the family’s staff and official business, as is customary.
Prince William has been shadowing King Charles III and making quiet visits to the Duchy in recent years, learning about the 130,000 acres of land with 160 miles of British coastline in 23 counties of England and Wales.
King Edward III established the Duchy in 1337 to provide an income for the heir to the throne. King Charles, 74, used it to pay for the heir to the throne’s life and public work, as well as his family’s — and with Charles at the helm, it has become a major financial concern.
Although Prince William has visited the area since assuming the throne, this was the first time he and Kate did so in an official capacity. And they aren’t strangers to the neighborhood in their spare time. Prince William spent several beachside holidays in Cornwall with his brother, Prince Harry, when he was a teen and in his early 20s, enjoying bodyboarding and surfing and hanging out with friends.