Posted: 05.08.20 at 13:55 by The Editor
It's been a very exciting morning on Barry Island with the unexpected arrival of two royal visitors.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrived on the Island with an entourage of security before taking some time to chat with local business owners and residents.
They headed into the famous Barry Island arcades with Prince William joking about their bad luck on the claw machines.
Local resident Georgina Lloyd said: "I worked on a BBC documentary in 2016-2017 with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge called Mind over Marathon which was about the benefits of exercise on mental health.
"When I saw them at the island I went over to say hello and we had a quick catch up about the program. It was lovely to see them in my local area."
The pair were spotted chatting to O'sheas Fish and Chip shop, a long-standing popular takeout on the front. They said: ''How lovely to meet and chat to Prince William."
Crowds have gathered to get a glimpse of the couple as well as share pictures of the royal affair.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have today carried out engagements in South Wales. Their Royal Highnesses firstly visited Barry Island where they heard from local business owners about the impact of COVID-19 on the tourism sector, before travelling to Shire Hall Care Home in Cardiff where they spoke to staff, residents and their family members.
Their Royal Highnesses’ visit to Barry Island has come as businesses in Wales have started to reopen their doors to the public as lockdown measures have started to ease. The Duke and Duchess visited Island Leisure amusements arcade to meet the owners and staff members ahead of the arcade reopening to the public later in the day, before joining vendors from some of the other businesses based on Barry’s promenade at Marco’s Café. Their Royal Highnesses heard about the impact that closing has had on the businesses during a typically busy period for the seaside resort, which attracted 424,000 visitors in 2019, and the measures they have put in place to allow them to start reopening in a safe and secure manner.
The Duke and Duchess also visited the beach huts on the eastern end of the promenade which have been installed as part of the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s £6m regeneration project in Barry. The project has also seen the restoration of the promenade and shelter, and the installation of new public art and entertainment spaces, a climbing wall and water feature.
Their Royal Highnesses then visited Shire Hall Care Home in Cardiff where they spoke to some of the home’s staff, residents and their family members in the home’s garden. In May, The Duke and Duchess joined staff and residents from Shire Hall via video call, and took their turn as guest bingo callers for a game in the home’s cinema. Shire Hall provides residential, nursing and dementia care and is part of Hallmark Care Homes, a family-run care provider with 20 care homes across England and Wales.
During today’s visit, Their Royal Highnesses were able to meet some of the staff and residents from the call in person and heard how the home has continued to adapt in response to the pandemic. Staff spoke about the measures that have been put in place in order to allow the residents to safely receive visits from family members and friends. The Duke and Duchess then met a small number of residents and their family members who spoke about the challenges of being unable to visit their loved ones at the beginning of the lockdown, how they kept in touch, and the impact of now being able to visit the home.
The visit was not listed as a formal royal visit on their website.