The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s tour of Ireland continued apace today, as they travelled to Galway. They arrived an hour later than expected due to fog which delayed their helicopter from Dublin.
During their time in the city, Prince William and Kate experienced a broad taste of modern and traditional Irish culture.
2020 sees Galway hosting the European Capital of Culture, with a showcase of events highlighting the richness and diversity of Irish culture, art and sport. To commemorate this, Galway is holding 1,900 events across 150 projects throughout the year.
The city is currently decked out with Galway 2020 bunting, and one innovative retailer had even gone to trouble of mocking up a photograph of Kate wearing a ‘Galway Girl’ t-shirt alongside a message saying: “Welcome William & Kate.”
The morning kicked off at Tribeton, a restaurant in central Galway, where the couple attended an event featuring a number of Galway 2020’s acts, including Macnas, Livefeed, Basketball Hoops and the Galway Community Circus.
Whilst here, they met performers, young people and volunteers and William even turned his hand to an impressive juggling display! Fearing the photographers’ cameras, the Duke commented on ‘the flashes in my eyes’, noting the balls were slightly weighted.
The Duchess applauded her husband, before he was asked to try the trick with four balls – which he managed unsuccessfully!
— Roya Nikkhah (@RoyaNikkhah) March 5, 2020
The Royals then went on to traditional Irish pub Tig Coili. The Duke and Duchess visited the family-owned, traditional Irish pub in Galway city centre, where they met local Galwegians who have volunteered to promote the city and its people during this pivotal year for the city.
The royal couple then carried out the only walkabout of the tour, meeting the public on the street where large crowds gathered excitedly to greet them. Security was tight with the Gardai (the Irish police force) checking people’s bags as they arrived.
It was a quick change of outfits for Catherine and William as they moved on to the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) Club; they visited the local Gaelic club to learn more about traditional sports which are popular across Ireland, including hurling and Gaelic football.
The GAA has over 2,200 clubs in all 32 counties of Ireland. Every summer, the inter-county All-Ireland Championships in hurling and football capture the attention of the Irish public and around 1.5 million people attend the GAA Championships from May to September.
In familiar scenes, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge threw themselves into trying out some of the sports on offer, joining children and young adults from the club’s teams as they took part in matches on the pitch. The Duke joked ‘no pressure’ to his wife, as she missed her first few attempts at hitting the ball in hurling practice.
Third time lucky for Kate with the hurling practice. William reminded her she was on camera ? pic.twitter.com/2L6mlMmKtx
— Victoria Ward (@victoria_ward) March 5, 2020
The club had updated the board for the royal visit, it reading ‘William’s team’ and ‘Catherine’s team’.
No doubt, despite the cold, William and Catherine took away happy memories of the warm welcome they received across the Emerald Isle.
We can expect to see them again at the Commonwealth Service on Monday where they will join The Queen at Westminster Abbey.