The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge took a trip to the South of Wales and visited Barry Island. The popular tourist destination in Wales is a really common name in British community as the hit television comedy series Gavin & Stacey is based on the Island. The couple visited some of the show’s most famous locations, including the amusement arcades and Marco’s Cafe. The holiday spot is known for its golden beaches and many family amusements and activities.
The Coronavirus has affected the world economy and the tourism sector has become COVID19’s brutal victim. The Governments are urging people to opt for stay-cations and visiting holiday spots within their countries. The Cambridge visit was planned to promote the tourism in Wales and send a message “We are open” as many businesses are re-opening after the lockdown. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge themselves chose stay-cation and took their children to the Tresco Island at the Isles of Scilly in the last week of July.
About the Wales visit, Palace said, “Their Royal Highnesses heard about the impact that closing has had on the businesses during a typically busy period for the seaside resort, which attracted 424,000 visitors in 2019, and the measures they have put in place to allow them to start reopening in a safe and secure manner.”
The day’s first stop was the seaside resort. There they heard about how the tourism industry is getting back on its feet, following the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Next, they stopped at Island Leisure Amusement Centre ahead of its official opening and met with the owners, Andrew and Hilary Phillips, and staff. From Hello! report,
Andrewm 59, said: “We had a chat about Aston Villa and football. I told him I was a Liverpool fan and he congratulated me on the Premier League win.
“We talked about the business, this is the fourth generation since my great grandfather in 1946, and said how important it is to be back open both for us as a business but for people to come and have a fun holiday.
“He asked about the safety measures and we have many signs in place and hand sanitisers.”
Hilary said: “William asked what James Corden and Ruth Jones and what was their connection to Barry Island. We explained James had an ex-girlfriend from Barry Island and Ruth is a local girl from Cardiff.”
WATCH🎥Cambridge Away Day! Kate & William visited Barry Island in south Wales today to hear about the impact of Covid-19 on UK tourism. Both played the amusement arcade games, trying to win a prize (for George, Charlotte or Louis??). pic.twitter.com/si5ja79b9p
— Emily Andrews (@byEmilyAndrews) August 5, 2020
William and Catherine participated in a ball game and tried to win prizes for their three children. The arcade is best known for playing host to “Nessa’s Slots,” where Ruth Jones’ character worked during the first series of the show.
The next stop was Marco’s Café, a family-run business since 1958 and one of the most iconic Gavin and Stacey locations. The Duke and Duchess met the owners Marco and Mariana. From Daily Mirror’s report,
The prince, who is pals with James Corden, admitted he had not seen the classic BBC show. He made the confession while speaking to Marco Zeraschi whose family has owned Marco’s Cafe since 1958, which also features on the BBC hit comedy.
He said: “It’s one of the few boxsets I haven’t already watched. I’ve never actually watched it. “But I know how much it has done for the economy here and it’s a wonderful series.
The last stop on the Island was the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s £6 million regeneration project on the promenade. They visited beach huts on the eastern end of the promenade. About the visit, Palace said, “The project has also seen the restoration of the promenade and shelter, and the installation of new public art and entertainment spaces, a climbing wall and water feature.”
From there, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge headed towards Shire Hall Care Home in Cardiff to meet their Bingo! partners. You might remember that William and Catherine hosted a bingo game for the residents of Shire Hall care in May this year.
Shire Hall provides residential, nursing and dementia care and is part of Hallmark Care Homes, a family-run care provider with 20 care homes across England and Wales.
Introduced to Joan Drew-Smith, 87, who made headlines in May when she said the royal bingo game “wasn’t as good as it should have been”, the Duke said: “Hello Joan, do you remember we did the bingo with you? You said we weren’t very good!”
“Yes,” she replied. “You did a bloody s****y job.”
The royal couple, briefly taken aback by her blunt assessment, roared with laughter. But they got a kinder response from fellow resident Margaret Stocks, 95, winner of the virtual game. “I did enjoy it,” she told them. “I hadn’t played it before.”
“Neither had we!” replied the Duchess. “That’s why we were so bad!”
They were shown the care home book that has pictures of plants and trees. The couple met the staff at the care home and heard how it’s been particularly difficult for those in care home settings given the limitations imposed by the lockdown.
From DailyMail’s report,
William and Kate met Pamela Davies, 82, and her daughter Sally at the outdoor bar area, where they heard how they had stayed in touch while unable to see each other in person at the start of lockdown.
Sally told them, ‘We just had to adapt and do it all by phone or video calls.’ Mother and daughter also used the Rels App, an app specially developed for Hallmark Care Homes which allows residents and relatives to send each other pictures, videos, music and memories, helping to bring families together when they were unable to visit the home.
‘How are the children?’ Pamela asked. ‘They are very well, thank you,’ said Kate. ‘They were very upset not to have been here with us.
Before leaving, The Royal couple was presented with a box of cakes and gifts including a traditional carved wooden lovespoon, a rugby ball, a soft toy dragon and a cuddly sheep.
A video of the visit.
For the visit, The Duchess of Cambridge wore her Emilia Wickstead Aurora belted floral-print Swiss-dot cotton-blend seersucker dress.
Catherine first wore the dress in September 2019 to visit RHS Garden Wisley.
Today, Duchess paired the dress with Castaner Carina Wedges.
The Duchess was carrying her Mulberry Amberley Nude Blush Leather Clutch.
She wore a new pair of earrings today. Duchess debuted Spells of Love Alia Hoops. Spells of Love is an ethical brand based in Wales. The £62 earrings were a lovely gesture from Duchess who loves sartorial diplomacy.
Catherine topped her look with her Daniella Draper Personalised Gold Midnight Moon Necklace.
Today we also saw Hannah Cockburn-Logie, the new Private Secretary of the Duchess of Cambridge, in public for the first time. Hannah joined the Kensington Palace in June this year. A senior British Diplomat with twenty years of experience in Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Hannah helped planning William and Catherine’s Royal visit to India and Bhutan in 2016.