A Royal Arcade
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit Barry Island in Wales to promote 'staycation' Britain.
AUGUST 5th, 2020
he Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have spent the day visiting Barry Island in Wales today. The Royal couple chatted with locals who had gathered to see the future Prince and Princess of Wales as they heard about how the popular holiday destination has been impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic.
The Duchess – wearing a previously worn Emelia Wickstead dress – enjoyed playing arcade games alongside her husband, though sadly lost out on winning any toys for their children George, Charlotte and Louis. The arcade, which is famous for being the location of the popular BBC series Gavin and Stacey, is just one of many businesses now prepared to open with renewed safety guidance to ensure social distancing.
Later in the day the Duke and Duchess spoke to local businesses to hear how they have been impacted by the pandemic. Marco, 62 who owns Marco’s Cafe – which is also featured in the BBC series – spoke with the couple and was left mightily impressed:
“I told them we have James Corden as prince and Ruth Jones as princess of Barry Island but said I have changed my mind now. They were very charming.” He said.
The royal couple also heard about the impact of closing the seaside resort, and how the affected businesses had been able to adapt to ensure customers are protected when visiting. Nia Hollins, of Vale of Glamorgan Council’s tourism office told the Duke: “We need to welcome people but with responsibility.”
After visiting Barry Island, the royal couple paid a special visit to Shire Hall Care Home in Cardiff and were left in hysterics are meeting some of the residents. The couple, who had earlier in the year become Bingo callers over Zoom, were ecstatic to finally meet the residents in person.
Though one resident in particular, Joan Drew-Smith, 87, had William and Catherine howling with laughter at her blunt assertion of the couple’s calling abilities. Upon meeting, 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 b*****y s****y job.'
The royal couple took no offence, and instead it seemed Joan had received a new fan in Prince William, especially after mistaking his wife for his assistant.
“Is that your assistant?” Joan asked him.
“Well I am your assistant,” laughed Kate, patting her husband's shoulder. “I have been for a long time!”
“I love Joan, she's brilliant. If only everyone was as honest as her,” William said.
The Duchess also heard about how the home was adapting to the new measures in place for family and friends when visiting. Pamela Davis, 82, and her daughter Sally told Catherine how they had used video calls to stay in touch: “We just had to adapt and do it all by phone or video calls. It wasn’t ideal, but at least we could still communicate with one another.”
Sally’s mother Pamela asked how the couple’s children George, Charlotte and Louis were.
“They are very well, thank you,' said Kate. “They were very upset not to have been here with us.”
“We went to an arcade in Barry Island,” said William. “The children would have enjoyed that.”
The couple’s visit was as secretive as possible, in hope not to attract too much attention, though crowds did begin to form as news of their arrival circulated, and it seemed that William and Catherine were a hit with the public.
“They’re just wonderful, aren’t they? Just so natural and down-to-earth,” said Michelle Dewberry, 34, who was visiting her family who live in Barry. “We spoke with Kate about the kids and how she’s struggling in teaching Louis to social distance. She’s really genuine and I have a son the same age, so I could relate.”
“I met William’s mother in Cardiff in the 90’s and he’s very much like her,” reminisced Nigel Cawthrope, 56. “He has that same personal touch.
“I told him how much I loved his recent podcast with Peter Crouch, and he laughed. He said that he might look at a career change and become a radio presenter. Lovely couple.”
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