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30th Sep 2021

William and Kate thank Derry community during “inspirational” visit

Sarah McKenna Barry

The couple paid an important visit to a cross community sporting initiative.

Yesterday saw Prince William and Kate Middleton pay their first ever visit to the city of Derry.

The royal couple had a busy itinerary and visited students at Ulster University before stopping by a cross-community sporting initiative.

At the City of Derry Rugby Club, William and Kate met players, coaches and volunteers from the Sport Uniting Communities initiative, which is a collaboration between the Irish Football Association, the Ulster Gaelic Athletic Association and Ulster Rugby.

The aim of Sport Uniting Communities is to “promote meaningful, purposeful and sustained contact” across different communities and the religious divide in Northern Ireland.

While there, the Cambridges watched the younger members of the club play rugby, football and Gaelic games. They also took to the pitch themselves.

Prince William then made a short speech, praising the cross-community initiative.

He said: “We are really impressed with what you’ve achieved here, seeing all the smiling faces outside, running around, joining in the sports and having a really good time, it is fantastic.

“I think seeing the communities come together and be able to work together, play together, have fun together, it is a really strong message you are sending out here.”

William continued: “On the back of a pandemic is not the easiest time to be doing all this, but hopefully it refocuses minds about what is important in life and what you are doing here is truly inspirational.”

As well as paying an important visit to the club, William and Kate enjoyed some Irish whiskey, which they said went down “extremely well”.

During their time at Ulster University’s Magee campus, the royals met with students studying paramedic science and nursing, before visiting a mobile zoo in the Students Union.

There, Kate bravely handled a tarantula called Charlotte, while William joked that their son George would be upset to have missed it.