Thursday, February 24, 2011

Prince William and Kate Middleton visit lifeboat station for first joint Royal engagement

By Daily Mail Reporter

Smiling and waving for the crowds, Kate Middleton performed adeptly on her first official appearance

Kate Middleton embarked on her first official engagement with Prince William today giving her a preview of what life will be like after the Royal Wedding.

The couple braved the blustery winds and grey skies on the Welsh coast to visit an RNLI lifeboat station in Anglesey close to where the Prince is based as a search and rescue pilot.

Miss Middleton was wearing a Vivien Sheriff headpiece with a three-quarter length beige coat, with brown trimmings and suede boots.

And probably taking the blustery dockside conditions into account, she wore her hair tied up - a style she has rarely been photographed wearing.

Her chocolate-brown bespoke headpiece was handcrafted by Salisbury-based Vivien Sheriff. Designed this year, it is decorated with feathers and military buttons.

A Clarence House spokeswoman said Miss Middleton had worn the coat before, but could not give any further details about its origins or the rest of her outfit.

The Royal bride-to-be emerged laughing and smiling as she poured champagne over a lifeboat.

Crowds of people had turned up early at the pretty dockside hoping to catch a glimpse of the pair together in public for first time. They waved to well-wishers as they stepped out of a Land Rover at the base.

As they took their place on the podium as they arrived they exchanged glances and smiled at each other before singing both the English and Welsh national anthems.

Onlookers said Kate, 29, appeared to have learnt all the words of the Welsh national anthem in advance of the visit as she sang it faultlessly.

Mingling with dignitaries today and accepting gifts and cards from the assembled Union flag-waving crowd, she showed a lightness of touch and winning approachability.

Royal role: Kate Middleton, right, greets children as Princess Diana did. Left the Princess of Wales meets Bosnian children in 1997

Support from the Prince: Kate performed admirably on her first Royal appointment

Praise: Kate Middleton looked every inch a Royal as Prince William addressed the crowd at the Trearddur Bay Lifeboat Station

Stunning: Kate's chocolate-brown bespoke headpiece was handcrafted by Salisbury-based Vivien Sheriff. Designed this year, it is decorated with feathers and military button

Big smile: 2,000 people turned up for the launch of the lifeboat and to see the Royal couple

In his address to the 2,000-strong crowd Prince William paid tribute to rescuers working in Christchurch, New Zealand to clear up following the powerful earthquake.

Her helicopter pilot partner William, stationed at the Anglesey RAF base, thanked the volunteer search and rescue teams for their continued life-saving work.

After meeting dignitaries at the Trearddur Bay Lifeboat Station, Miss Middleton poured the bottle of bubbly over the new Hereford Endeavour.

A palace spokesman said today was the couple's first official engagement where Miss Middleton had been invited as a guest of honour.

He said: 'They (Prince William and Miss Middleton) asked for their first joint engagement to be in Anglesey.

Blustery: Kate Middleton had to brave strong winds and grey skies as she visited the North Wales RNLI base but, right, she sang the Welsh national anthem perfectly

Kate prepares to douse the bow of the new Hereford Endeavour with champagne as William watches on

Prince William applauds as Kate Middleton pours champagne over the new lifeboat. The bottle was not smashed, as is tradition, because the vessel is inflatable

Regal: Kate Middleton looked elegant on her first official visit

Elegant figure: Miss Middleton was wearing a Vivien Sheriff headpiece with a three-quarter length a three-quarter length beige coat, with brown trimmings and suede boots

'Then the lifeboat station approached us about the new lifeboat and, given that Prince William is a search and rescue pilot and at some point is very likely to be working with crew, it seemed appropriate.'

Mrs Critchley, 63, from Warrington, Cheshire, said: 'They are a lovely couple. He is a great lad and she is a beautiful girl.'

After Prince William's address the couple met and greeted members of the public as she was eased into life as a member of the Royal family.

Huw Morgan Daniel, Lord Lieutenant for Gwynedd, received the pair and presented Mrs Huw Morgan Daniel, chairman of the Isle of Anglesey County Council Selwyn Williams and Judge Graham Hume Jones, president of Holyhead and Trearddur Bay Lifeboat Station to them.

Before the event, Lisa Taylor, 42, from Valley, said: 'I think it's fantastic. The work the RNLI do around here is vital. To have such high-profile guests is great for them.

'It's going to be wonderful to see William and Kate. Really exciting.'
Jean and Keith Critchley took their three-year-old grandson, Samuel, to the event.

A young girl is held back by her mother as Prince William and Kate Middleton greet the crowds

Royal life: Visit to Anglesey, close to where they will live as a married couple, was Kate's first official engagement

The couple, who have a holiday home on Anglesey, said it would be good for the area.
Mary Shaw, 71, from Trearddur Bay, agreed.

'They are a lovely couple. They will get an excellent reception.'

Claire James, from Chester, was accompanied by her three children - Charlie, 10, Beau, eight, and seven-year-old Sam.

She said: 'I am very excited. My daughter wants to ask if they want a spare bridesmaid - she will step in!'

The couple got engaged last October while on holiday in Kenya.

The 28-year-old Prince proposed with his mother Diana's diamond and sapphire engagement ring.

Almost 2,000 guests have been invited to their wedding. The congregation is expected to feature celebrities, leading politicians, heads of state and royalty from across the world.

Although the names of guests have not been officially released, some of those on the list have confirmed they will be attending.

London Mayor Boris Johnson has received an invitation, as has John Haley, the landlord of the Old Boot Inn, Miss Middleton's favourite country pub close to her family home in Bucklebury, Berkshire.

After the service, the newlyweds will return to Buckingham Palace in a carriage along Parliament Square, Whitehall, Horse Guards Parade and The Mall.

The Queen will host a reception at the palace, followed by a private dinner and dancing in the evening.

And here's someone who's been doing it for decades: The Queen receives a garland of flowers from daughters of serving Gurkha servicemen during her visit to Invicta Park Barracks, in Maidstone, Kent

The marriage will be marked with an official public holiday across the UK.

William is currently based at RAF Valley, Anglesey, in his role as a full-time RAF search and rescue pilot.


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