The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge spent the day in Cumbria today, where they celebrated the resilience and spirit of rural and farming communities. They took part in sheep shearing and traditional rock wall building, and learnt more about those that live in the county.
Cumbria is the third largest county in England by area, and contains the Lake District National Park, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and considered one of England’s finest natural beauties.
Prince William and Kate began their day in the market town of Keswick. Waiting to greet them was therapy dog Max and his owner, mental health campaigner Kerry Irving, who first met the royal couple during a garden party at Buckingham Palace last month. Keswick is their hometown, and William and Kate sent an invite to them to come and meet them while they were visiting.
The started the visit by browsing the market stalls, where they tried out some of the local cheese on offer to customers, before meeting local people involved in organisations which support communities across Cumbria.
After speaking with Mr and Mrs Irving, the couple went on a walkabout through Market Square, where crowds had been gathering since early in the day to catch a glimpse of the Royals.
The next stop of the day was to Deepdale Hall Farm in Pattersale, a traditional fell sheep farm. There they met members of the Cumbrian farming community – the Brown family – and learned about some of the key challenges they are facing.
Sitting in their kitchen, William queried: “Is Brexit a big concern?” Of course, as Royals, William and Kate are expected to be apolitical and so they did not give their opinion on the issue, and instead just listened and nodded as they were told all of the effects that Brexit, especially a no-deal one, would have upon all farmers. Those effects include 40% tariffs on sheep, a fall in exports and an end to farming subsidies from the Common Agricultural Policy.
Following tea, the couple got their hands dirty, helping the Brown’s to shear their flock of Herdwick and Swaledale sheep before also helping to repair a dry stone wall on the farm.
The Duke and Duchess Of Cambridge join in sheep shearing at Deepdale Hall Farm, where the Brown family have been farming in the valley near Lake Ullswater since the 1950s.
The Browns are proud of their hillfarming heritage and are keen to carry on farming in a traditional way. pic.twitter.com/7E2m09sFI1
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) June 11, 2019
In an idyllic end to the day, the Duke and Duchess took some time to enjoy the beauty of the area surrounding them. The two took a seat on a bench, situated on a hill above Ullswater and spoke amongst themselves and also to walkers on the hill about the view and the area. What a sight that must have been for those unsuspecting ramblers!