The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s third joint day in Scotland was a walk down the memory lane. After a busy day in Orkney, The Royal couple were back at St Andrews University in Fife, Scotland, where they met first time 20 years ago in 2001 and their love story was born. William and Catherine spent the night in the University town where they lived from 2001 to 2005.
The Earl and Countess of Strathearn, as William and Catherine are styled in Scotland, had a fun start to the day with a land yachting competition on West Sands beach at St Andrews, hosted by a local company, Blown Away. The Duchess told youngsters that the night was very cold when she opened the window. It’s been more than 15 years since they have spent a night in the town.
They were joined by the Fife Young Carers, a group that supports young carers in the area, helping them maintain their wellbeing through residential trips, workshops and outdoor activities. The group is very much focused on offering carers respite from their role by having fun with people their own age.
About the visit, Kensington Palace said, “A young carer is defined as a child or young person whose life has been affected by looking after a family member with a physical disability, illness addiction or mental health issues. In 2019, 6,785 young people in Fife identified themselves as young carers, equating to approximately one in eight young people in the region. The charity, which has operated since 1995, supports 597 young people, with the figure rising monthly. Recently, Fife Young Carers introduced a ‘Young Carers Authorisation Card’ scheme in schools, pharmacies and other medical settings in and around Fife. The card helps young carers easily identify themselves, without having to repeatedly outline their circumstances and personal stories to those in the local community.“
William and Catherine are known for their sporting rivalry. The couple performed figures of eight in the wind-powered buggies on the West Sands beach at the coastal Scottish town. Wearing yellow crash helmets, they joined six teenage carers trying out the sport. They were in full-on sports mode when faced each other across the rain and wind-lashed beach. William won the race with little help from the wind while Catherine was chasing him closely.
Later on, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge talked to six teenagers, aged between 13 and 18, about their lives looking after sick parents or siblings and how they balance their responsibilities with school work and trying to do ordinary things that teenagers do. They learnt about the charity’s work to raise awareness of the role of young carers in the local area. From Express and Star’s report,
Kate, who was wearing a jumper by Highlands firm Campbell’s of Beauly, asked if their friends at school realised the challenges they face. “Is it hard for them to relate to what you are doing?” she asked, “Do you think people in general are understanding?”
As they talked about their lives, she asked: “Do you find it hard to find time for yourselves and do things?” One of the boys told her he had been on a yacht last year and had taken it in turns with others to cook for the crew. Kate, who worked on yachts when she was a student, asked: “Did you get seasick? “I did but your body gets used to it,” he replied.
William praised them for the care they gave their loved ones. “You guys do really well,” he told them, “You should be very proud of yourselves, guys.”
Kirstie Howell, service manager for Fife Young Carers, said it was important the young people the organisation helps got the chance to get away from their responsibilities and enjoy normal pleasures.“It’s a chance for these young people to get away from their care roles and just allowing them to be young people again,” she said.
The next stop was going to be nostalgic for the couple. Prince William and Catherine arrived at St Andrews University. They both started the university together in 2001 and graduated in 2005.
William has an honours degree in Geography while Catherine gained an honours degree in History of Art. They were greeted by St Andrews Principal, Professor Sally Mapstone, and the President of the St Andrews Students’ Association, Dan Marshall.
William and Catherine spent their first year in the St. Salavator’ Hall of residence at the University Campus. During their engagement interview in November 2010, William confirmed that they were friends for over a year. Their relationship blossomed once they started to live together at a property nearby the University campus with some friends. In 2003, William and Catherine moved to Balgove House at Strathyrum together.
A clip from William and Catherine’s graduation ceremony. The Royal Family and Middleton family attended the ceremony.
After their engagement, Prince William and Catherine went on a nationwide visit – The University visit was one of the engagements they undertook in 2011. At that time William said, “it felt like coming home“. Since then they have supported their University in many ways.
They attended a black-tie fundraiser in Middle Temple Hall, London in 2012 in support of St Andrews University’s 600th Anniversary Campaign.
The couple attended St Andrews’ 600th Anniversary dinner at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in 2014.
Today, Prince William and Catherine joined Geography and History of Art students on St Salvator’s Lawn to discuss the ‘Can Do’ scheme — a joint initiative between the university and the St Andrews Students’ Association. They learnt about the scheme that was introduced last September to address mental health challenges experienced by students unable to experience traditional university life with their peers. William and Catherine heard about student’s life and experience during the pandemic.
The Duke and Duchess helped finish painting socially distanced hearts on St Salvator’s Quadrangle lawn, one of the emblems of the Can Do scheme which supported students to spend more time safely indoors and outdoors. They also visited the Can Do marquee, meeting students who were able to plan and host their Covid-secure extra-curricular activities and social events in the space. From Ballroom and Latin dancing to charity and wellbeing activities, the Can Do marquee has hosted a diverse range of over 500 events since its launch, acting as a vital morale boost for students on campus.
Palace said, “Their Royal Highnesses also joined an interfaith discussion with students from the University’s School of Divinity, campus inter-faith groups including the student-run St Andrews Coexistence Initiative and the university chaplain, to hear how the university encourages interfaith dialogue, and how different faiths have come together to understand each other better and provide emotional support during the pandemic.”
Before leaving, William and Catherine planted their first tree for St Andrews Forest – the university’s action plan to become carbon neutral by 2035 spearheaded by the students on the university’s Environmental Sustainability Board. About the initiative, Kensington Palace said, “The forest will have multiple sites across the world, and provide new habitats for wildlife, green spaces to aid mental health and wellbeing, as well as opportunities for education and research.“
From the University of St Andrews’ website:
Deanna Coleman, a final year International Relations student, said: “It was great that the Duke and Duchess were interested in the different projects going on at the University. We spoke about the St Andrews Forest proposal, which is a carbon offsetting mission for the University; they were very interested to hear more. This is my last day in St Andrews so to finish it off with a royal visit has been great.”
Next, they visited Pittenweem Fishermen’s Mutual Association at Pittenweem Harbour on the Firth of Forth. The Duke and Duchess were shown the fishermen’s boats, which catch langoustines, lobsters and crabs.
William and Catherine met with the fishermen and their families to hear about the fishing industry in Fife, and the impact of the last year on fishing communities on the East Coast of Scotland.
The day was drawing to an end at the Pittenweem. They spoke with individuals involved in various stages of the fishing process, including fishermen, the harbourmaster and a fish merchant. Then they enjoyed a seafood BBQ with local restaurateur Amy Elles, who buys produce from the harbour at the local market
The Duchess of Cambridge and her love for young kids is not a secret.
— Kate’s Rangers (@KatesRangers) May 26, 2021
Then The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were spotted at St Andrews off duty where they met 20 years ago having a chippy tea on the pier. They visited Anstruther for a fish supper – sitting down the pier and a wee walk along Shore Street. They stopped to chat with some locals on the way for their cone. From Hello!’s report,
Prince William and Kate were spotted leaving Forgan’s, a contemporary restaurant with a Scottish twist, in St Andrews on Tuesday before a day of engagements on Wednesday. The couple asked for a private seating area at the back of the eatery that has welcomed famous golfing celebrities like Rory McIlroy.
“There was a crowd outside once they left but as far as inside goes it was quiet,” said manager Marc, who declined to give his last name.
“There was no pomp and ceremony or fanfare, they were very nice and when they left they were very complimentary.” The manager, who was off duty when the couple arrived was called by staff at home: “Word certainly reached me we had guests come in.”
The Duchess of Cambridge brought two casual looks today.
Underneath the jacket, Catherine wore a Nordic Crew Jumper from Scottish brand Campbells of Beauty. Thanks to Bojana for the id.
Catherine was wearing her Brora Dobby Cotton Blouse that she also wore yesterday and blue jeans.
The Duchess was wearing Orelia London Chain Huggie Hoop Earrings.
For the second part of the day, The Duchess of Cambridge was wearing Holland Cooper Double-breasted Black Twill Blazer. Thanks to Lady Parky on Twitter for the id.
Underneath the blazer, She was wearing Erdem Lotus Stripe knit jumper. Thanks to Middleton Maven for the id.
Catherine replaced her boots with Veja Esplar Metallic Low-Top Trainers. Thanks to Kate’s Royal closet for the id.
The Duchess of Cambridge teamed up the look with her Freya Rose Mini hoops with detachable Pearls.