Yesterday, The Duke of Cambridge carried out his second day of engagements in Jordan, bringing an end to his two-day visit to the Arab nation.
The Duke began his day with a visit to the Jerash archaelogical site, which is a 1st Century Roman Site and one of the sovereign nation’s most popular tourist attractions; William was accompanied on his visit by Crown Prince Hussein.
The two future Kings cut a casual figure, both opting for blazers over a more relaxed outfit, as opposed to the formal wear we usually see on official visits. Once again, the two men appeared to be comfortable in each other’s company; William’s visit is designed to emphasise the strong bond between the two nations, and his interactions with The Crown Prince seem to reflect that.
A rather interesting moment during William’s visit to Jerash centred on his wife, Catherine, who is currently on maternity leave following the birth of Prince Louis and so did not accompany her husband on this trip. As a child, Kate spent over two years living in Jordan, and there is a picture of the 4-year-old Duchess posing at the Jerash site with her father Michael and sister Pippa.
During yesterday’s visit, The Duke of Cambridge was invited to pose in the same spot, beside the rock which the press have nicknamed ‘Catherine’s rock’; there was even an enlarged version of the Middleton family picture at the site, which William and Hussein were able to see. The two royals appeared to have a bit of a giggle as they viewed the picture, with William quipping that his father-in-law looked “very smart in his flip flops!”. He then said that he and Catherine would have to revisit the site together with their children.
At the site, William and Hussein also met with Syrian refugee children who were taking part in a photography workshop at Jerash. The Duke praised Jordan’s efforts in assisting with the refugee crisis, saying: “The way in which you opened your doors to hundreds of thousands of refugees from Syria, not to mention your longstanding commitments to Palestinian refugees, is remarkable.”
The Makani programme is run by UNICEF and offers psychological support to both parents and children who have fled Syria and its oppressive regime. The father-of-three showed his paternal side, chatting and laughing with the children.
William and Hussein then visited the Quick Reaction Force’s new base in Jordan; this base has been established with British Military Support. The future Sovereigns met some of the British officers who are on attachment with the Jordanian Armed Forces, and also watched the Reaction Force carry out some pre-deployment practice drills.
The Duke of Cambridge then paid a visit to the Dar Na’mah Centre, which forms part of the Princess Taghrid Institute. Crown Prince Hussein’s aunt Princess Taghrid established the charity to support women in the country, allowing them to develop a livelihood for themselves and therefore support their families.
During his visit to the centre, The Queen’s grandson spoke to several orphaned women who had been abandoned or taken away from their parents; however, with the support of the Princess Taghrid Institute, these women have learnt skills which have helped them to find employment. The Duke also tried his hand at bread-making.
Prince William then travelled to Jordan’s Al Quds College, which has a partnership with the UK’s Middlesex University. The Duke met students from the College’s media department, and was able to have a go on their Neve mixing console – the device is produced in Manchester, and is one of only 13 in existence. As well as trying his hand at mixing music, the second-in-line-to-the-throne also joined students in the test kitchen for a lesson in coffee-making. William appeared to be in deep concentration as he decorated the coffee under the watchful eye of some of the College’s students.
The Duke of Cambridge’s final engagement in Jordan took place at Marka airport; there, the former air ambulance pilot was allowed to inspect a civilian air ambulance and also a military medevac helicopter. William also took the time to speak to some of the pilots who serve on the helicopters. The Duke then departed Jordan to begin his historic trip to Israel, which marks the first official visit by a senior member of the Royal Family to the country.