Prince William spoke about ‘challenges’ and the ‘need to move forward’ during the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s first joint engagement since Prince Harry and Meghan Markle quit as senior royals.
The couple were back to royal business in Bradford today as the storm over Harry and Meghan’s decision to leave Britain for Canada rumbled on.
While visiting Near Neighbours – a group that brings together people of various religions and ethnicities – he said: ‘It’s sometimes trying to get people to understand that’s it’s ok to have these challenges.
‘We just need to deal with them and we need to move forward rather than just be stuck in paralysis and pretend they don’t happen, which is no good.’
It has been a tumultuous week for the royals which also saw legal documents published in the battle between Meghan and the Mail on Sunday that could lead to her father testifying against her should the case go to trial.
Earlier today, Kate and William were cheered wildly with the Duchess of Cambridge hugging their ‘noisy’ supporters.
Prince William spoke about ‘challenges’ and the ‘need to move forward’ during the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s first joint engagement since Prince Harry and Meghan Markle quit as senior royals
The couple were back to royal business in Bradford today as the storm over Harry and Meghan’s decision to leave Britain for Canada rumbled on
William and Kate both grinned as they were swamped by well-wishers as they put on a tactile performance outside Bradford’s City Hall today.
Fans – including dozens of school children handed the couple bunch-after-bunch of flowers and William gave his wife a single white rose as they got back to royal business.
At one point the screaming crowd was so loud the Duke beamed and said to a group: ‘Hello! You’re the noisy corner – You’re in fine voice’, sparking squeals of excitement from some women waving Union flags and clutching bouquets for him and his wife.
Kate is handed white roses in Centenary Square in Bradford today as crowds went wild for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge today
One young supporter who was waiting in the cold had a brief chat with the Duchess who then gave him a big hug, thanking him for seeing them
The couple had first visited a community project that aims to strengthen bonds between grandparents and grandchildren in the West Yorkshire city.
After meeting excited crowds in Bradford’s Centenary Square, the Cambridges headed to British Asian restaurant chain MyLahore where Kate giggled as she made and drank a Kulfi milkshake while her husband knocked up a mango lassi, which he called ‘delicious’ as he took a sip.
After excited scenes in Bradford’s Centenary Square, the Duke and Duchess arrived at MyLahore’s flagship restaurant in a navy blue Range Rover.
Small crowds cheered as they got out of the vehicle and a group of children waved Union flags from their pushchairs.
The couple were greeted by restaurant CEO Asghar Ali and managing director Shakoor Ahmed.
The Duchess complimented these children on their school uniforms and played with one girl’s hat before asking them if they were ‘freezing’
William joked with a section of the crowds that they were the ‘noisy corner’ as the people of Bradford came out in force to support the Cambridges
William and Kate were smiling and tactile with the West Yorkshire crowds who were delighted to see them there
They are expected to hear about some of the charitable work that the restaurant does to support the community.
William and Kate’s first stop in the restaurant was in the kitchen, where they met students from Bradford College taking part in an apprenticeship scheme.
They then went on to make mango and kulfi milkshakes under the guidance of operations director Ishfaq Farooq.
The duke and duchess chose ice cream to add to their drinks and mixed them using blenders.
William said his milkshake was ‘delicious’ and went on to ask staff about the origin of ingredients used.
MyLahore is a British Asian restaurant that takes its inspiration from Lahore, which is known as the food capital of Pakistan.
Kate shakes hands with local children who cheered the Duchess and shouted her name as the royals were shaken by Prince Harry’s decision to walk away from life as a senior royal
Kate was giggling as she helped make kulfi milkshakes at MyLahore restaurant, which has taken inspiration from Lahore, considered the food capital of Pakistan
Today’s visit to the West Yorkshire city was William and Kate’s first joint public engagement together since a charity event in London two months ago on November 12 for their volunteer text support service Shout.
The engagement in Bradford was announced just last week on January 8 while tensions within the Royal Family were at a high before the Duke and Duchess of Sussex said one day later that they were stepping down.
William and Kate also met families from the Older Yet Wiser project – a workshop helping grandparents to enhance their relationship with their grandchildren and giving advice on raising children in the 21st century.
The couple – who have three children, George, six, Charlotte, four, and Louis, one – also visited young people, employers and families at projects that promote cohesion within what is one of Britain’s most diverse cities.
The future Queen then sampled the fruit of her labour and clearly enjoyed the milkshake swirled with fresh fruit
William used a blender to make some traditional drinks while his wife laughs uproariously at his expense
Kate cut a stylish figure as she mixed designer with high-street – wearing a military-style khaki coat by Alexander McQueen and a £90 printed black and white flowing dress from Zara which has since been reduced to £16.
The royal completed her outfit with a pair of £520 black block heels by Gianvito Rossi and a £550 Aspinal of London midi ‘Mayfair bag’, as well as earrings by Zeen that she wore on her royal tour of Pakistan last year.
The couple were greeted by dignitaries before going into City – Kate laughing as she and her husband took different routes up a grand central staircase.
Inside they sat down with a group of young people from across the city who have been noted for their volunteering and community work.
Sitting down on a sofa William and Kate listened intently as the teenagers introduced themselves.
William tried his wife’s handmade milkshake while Kate sampled her husband’s lassi at MyLahore in Bradford
They chatted at length with Caitlund Roberts, 19, who talked to them about STEM subjects and being a woman in engineering.
‘STEM is something we have been going around asking about a lot,’ said William, ‘getting girls into engineering. ‘ He asked: ‘How did you find the journey getting into it. Easy? Difficult? What more can be done?’
Caitlund told them eloquently about the ‘stigma’ she sometimes felt the profession came with for women.
There was, she said, a misnomer that women wouldn’t be good with their hands and said there was an urgent need for more apprenticeships.
Kate also chatted to Rosena Nawaz about mental health issues and asked her: ‘Do you think a lot of your friends are talking about mental health as topic of conversation? Is this something people your age are talking about? Is there a big conversation around anxiety and depression?
‘What are the services like in Bradford for mental health?’ asked William.
William shared jokes with the kitchen staff and learned about some of the community work undertaken by the restaurant
He talked about the need for better ‘mental fitness’.
‘We all look after our bodies, go to the gym, keep fit. But we need to think about our mental fitness each day too. There’s a clinical side to mental health but we need to keep our minds health and positive every day. It’s about mental fitness too,’ he said.
Liaba Kazmi, 15, told the couple how she lived in an area of Bradford called Carlton Bolling and how it was renowned as one of the most deprived and ‘roughest’ areas of the city and wanted to become a politician or a police officer to facilitate change.
She movingly described seeing children of ‘six or seven’ hanging around on street corners without their parents and added: ‘Just because Carlton Bolling is known for having the biggest proportion of drug dealers doesn’t mean I am a drug dealer. There are such stereotypes there. There is a saying where I come from that a five-year-old can find a drug dealer quicker than a police officer can, it’s true, it’s absolutely true. I see these kids hanging around on street corners at 10 o’clock at night without their parents.
‘Why am I living in society that feels it is fine not to follow the rules? I feel like I have to do something. But I can’t sweep the broom on my own, I have to have a good group of people to help me. If we don’t start cleaning the mess now, it will be harder to clean up.’
She laughed out loud when William smiled and said: ‘I can see why you want to be a politician or a police officer. I know just the right lady! The fact that this bothers you is good, you want to make a difference. You see that and you think ‘that’s not right’, this is my home town and why is this happening. ‘ ‘You want to break those generational roles,,’ added Kate, ‘otherwise those five and six-year-olds won’t know any different.
‘Well done, it’s a big mission.’