The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in Bradford
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge made their first official appearance of 2020 during a visit to Bradford today. The visit included stops at Bradford's City Hall, MyLahore, and the Khidmat Centre with the Better Start Bradford and Near Neighbors organizations. They also stopped and spoke with members of the public who came out for a chance to meet them. Bradford is one of the most diverse cities in the United Kingdom and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge highlighted that with the organizations, businesses and charities they visited during their day visit.
Their first stop was at City Hall to meet with young people as representatives from local employers and businesses who are helping other young people find employment. The couple spoke with them about some of the challenges young people face in trying to find employment before doing a walkabout in front of City Hall. Catherine spoke with schoolchildren and young people, revealing Prince George loves camouflage after meeting a boy in a camo coat. Meanwhile Prince William was seen signing some British Sign Language after it was revealed during an investiture earlier in the week that he knew a few signs.
The couple then visited MyLahore, a British Asian Restaurant with locations in Leeds, Manchester, Birmingham and Bradford. While there, they made Mango Lassi's with staff and met with students from Bradford College who benefit from an apprenticeship scheme at the restaurant. My Lahore takes inspirations from Lahore, known as the food capital of Pakistan and one of the locations the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited in 2019 during their visit to the region.
They then sat down to meet with representatives from the Women's Muslim Council along with some people who benefit from the Council's Curry Circle. My Lahore sponsors the Curry Circle which is an initiative that provides a two course meal for people who are homeless or otherwise struggle to feed themselves. William and Catherine then met restaurant staff and were able to catch up with Amir Khan, a British-Pakistani boxer commonly known as King Khan.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge then traveled onto one of Bradford's Khidmat Centres where they met with the Better Start Bradford Organization and the Near Neighbors Project. The Little Dots workshop, hosted by Better Start Bradford, uses music and play to help children's social, emotional and physical development. Catherine has long been involved in the importance of children's early years in order to lay a strong foundation for the rest of their lives. Catherine was seen dancing to the mashed bananas song with 18 month old, Sorayah as well as playing baby maracas during the workshop.
Following the Little Dots workshop, the Duke and Duchess joined a Near Neighbors workshop which brings together people from diverse backgrounds to get to know one another better. The goal is to improve communities by creating a shared understanding on which they can build a relationship based on trust. Prince William spoke at the workshop about the importance of working through differences and having tough conversations rather than becoming paralyzed because the conversations might be difficult.
He also mentioned how he and Catherine hoped to visit more of the places around the U.K. that they do not spend as much time in or haven't had the opportunity to visit. The visits would be to create a better understanding of the struggles and problems people all over the United Kingdom face in order to begin addressing them to make stronger communities and by extension, a stronger U.K.
During their time at the Khidmat Centre they also saw a beautiful display of cakes made by a local baker who said that it took three days to make. The display featured photos of William and Catherine throughout their lives including their childhoods to their relationship, engagement, wedding and showed their three children. Prince William remarked that a photo of Princess Charlotte looked just like him, even confusing the two for a moment. They seemed incredibly impressed with the thoughtfulness of the display, Prince William remarking that even Mary Berry would be impressed.
Before departing Bradford, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge did another walkabout outside of the Khidmat Centre. They both shine on their walkabouts, engaging with the public and (despite large crowds) really engaging with each person if only for a few seconds. Catherine was presented with several bouquets of flowers throughout the day and was give one more before the couple departed.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have another engagement next Monday, 20th January where they will host a reception for the U.K.- Africa Investment at Buckingham Palace on behalf of the Queen. xx