The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge undertook two engagements yesterday: meeting SportsAid athletes ahead of the Commonwealth Games, and preparing a Commonwealth Big Lunch at St Luke’s Community Centre. The day also marked Catherine’s final work as she has now begun her maternity leave.
Prince William and his wife first headed to the Copper Box in Stratford’s Olympic Park to meet the SportsAid team; Sport Aid is a national charity helping young British sportsmen and women who hope to be the country’s next Olympic, Paralympic, Commonwealth & World Champions and the Duchess is also patron.
Every year SportsAid supports over 1,000 athletes – the vast majority aged 12-18 – by providing a financial award to help with training and competition costs. The charity also helps develop other vital skills for professional athletes, such as media training, nutritional advice and performance lifestyle guidance.
Kate has been patron of the charity since 2013.
Observing various session going on, William and Catherine were given toys for their children – the cuddly Borobi Commonwealth Games mascot; Prince Charles, Camilla and Prince Edward will be present at the games in Australia next month.
Speaking to those supported by the organisation, the royal couple learnt about the wheelchair basketball hopefuls for the upcoming 2022 Commonwealth Games, which will be held in Birmingham. The team includes presenter, Ade Adepitan, who won bronze in the 2004 Athens paralympics.
The Duke of Cambridge was offered a seat to have a go at playing basketball on two wheels, instead of two legs and he gladly obliged. After getting used to manoeuvring the chair, William headed to the ‘D’ to practise shooting; on the third go, he was successful, and seemed pleased with himself.
Oh, I didn’t realise my video of William playing wheelchair basketball didn’t send earlier. ? pic.twitter.com/jxDP117HIT
— Richard Palmer (@RoyalReporter) March 22, 2018
The future King commented that it must hurt their hands when chairs smash into each other, Paralympian Gregg Warburton held up his two-fingered hand and joked: “Yeah, I had five when I started.”
The Duke and Duchess also posed for a photo with the team.
The royal couple chatted with Lizzy Yarnold, Britain’s gold medallist in the skeleton; Mrs Yarnold told them that funds from SportsAid were vital while she struggled to balance sport training and university.
“They’ve been through it all before so they know what advice to give. It was really nice when I started to have someone to talk to about managing sport and life, with me being away all winter and having exams at the time.”
It was then time for a quiz about the history of the Commonwealth Games – of course the Duke and Duchess were on opposing teams!
?The Duke and Duchess get involved in a Commonwealth Quiz!
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) March 22, 2018
William and Kate’s next stop was St Luke’s Community Centre in East London, to help prepare a Commonwealth Big Lunch; The Duchess of Cornwall attended a similar event last week at a primary school, helping children back Commonwealth breads.
St Luke’s offers activities and services to the community, which includes a cookery school, helping locals learn about healthy home cooking and avoiding food waste. The Commonwealth Big Lunches are supported by the Eden Project – the domed greenhouses in Cornwall that the Cambridges visited on their trip in September 2016.
On her last engagement before giving birth, Kate meets kids at @StLukesTrust, where she and William will help prepare a Commonwealth Big Lunch ahead of April’s @Commonwealth18@edencommunitiespic.twitter.com/wlNMRdIaVT
— Emily Nash (@emynash) March 22, 2018
The Duke and Duchess then donned their aprons and helped prepare a lunch, helping add the final touches and garnishes to their dishes.
Catherine spoke to some other mums, and revealed how she makes pizzas with Prince George and Princess Charlotte: “I’ve done that with George and Charlotte, making pizza dough. They love that, don’t they, because they can get their hands messy.”
Had an amazing day today @central_st @StLukesTrust @StLukesGardenGp Members of our multicultural group cooked yummy dishes withThe Duke and duchess of Cambridge (@KensingtonRoyal ) for our #commonwealthbiglunch What an amazing honour and how lovely they were to all our members! x pic.twitter.com/ivyGmKTEnY
— central_st (@central_st) March 22, 2018
Prince William, meanwhile, spoke about his love of food with the other chefs: “I like a lot of things. I do like curry, I love curry.
“I do like fish as well, I like Italian, pasta, and pizza, really love pizza. I don’t make it but the children do. I just eat.”
The royal visitor even offered his own recipe to the group, as they were cooking Malaysian prawn mee goreng curry, plantain, rice and spinach under the guidance of chef Matt Jones, 45.
“Here’s another curry recipe for you!”
— StLukesCommunityCtr (@StLukesTrust) March 22, 2018
He also hoped to avoid trying anything unpleasant – William said: “Not Durian Fruit [ a pungent Asian delicacy] is it? I fell for that one before, never again!”
After the meals were prepared, the Royals headed back into the cafe, but Kate didn’t seem too impressed with her offerings!
— Rebecca English (@RE_DailyMail) March 22, 2018